SPOTTED SPURGE

Euphorbia maculata

Spurge Family [Euphorbiaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZneophyte
status
statusZcasual
flower
flower8cream
inner
inner8red
petals
petalsZ0
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8milkysap stem8milkylatex
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
contact
contactZmedium
sex
sexZmonoecious

26th July 2017, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
A neophyte-casual which hardly grows in the UK, being found in just a few random locations. It is not even a garden plant, for it spreads and is prostrate, flat on the ground, and the 'flowers' are tiny. The stems are up to 40cm long.


26th July 2017, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The stems are reddish but the most striking features are the irregularly-shaped dark splodges in the middle of the leaves, which are probably due to a red substance in the leaves: red and green dyes in subtractive colour yields a dirty-brown colour.


26th July 2017, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
There is a rooting-node of the plant just below dead-centre (it roots at intervals along its length). The reddish-pink stems have short curled-over hairs. The tiny flowers (most here have turned to fruit) are an short bunches at intervals along the stems and particularly at the end of the stem.


26th July 2017, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The plant has randomly placed alternate branches.


26th July 2017, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
Both bracts (just beneath the flowers/fruits - bottom left) are similar to the leaves. There are many (here pinkish) hairy fruits visible which are about 2.5mm across - they are nearly globular but with 3 shallow grooves around the longitude, each of the 3 lobes containing a single seed 1 to 1.2mm long. A tiny distance beneath them are the vestiges of 4 glands (which are spread out petal-like) which are, unusual for spurges, white rather than orange-yellow or green. Unseen in these photos (because they are even tinier than the white glands, are the male parts of the flower (the female parts have already turned into the fruit).


26th July 2017, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
Not all leaves have dark splodges, some are bereft of them (top right), whilst others have a dirty-green colour surrounding the dark splodges, due to the reddish dye spreading out over the leaf (centre left)


26th July 2017, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak


26th July 2017, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The leaves have very short, hair-like, forwardly-directed white teeth and are round to oval in shape.


26th July 2017, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak


Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : It is (usually) prostrate and most of the oval leaves have dark-coloured blotches in the middle. The 4 glands are, unusually, white, but tiny.

Like many spurges it will contain a toxic white sap which exudes out from any broken stems.

However, the only compounds that your Author can find on the WWW in Spotted Spurge are some triterpenoids; no one lists the diterpenoids that must also be in it - for instance in the toxic white sap.


  Euphorbia maculata  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Euphorbiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Spurge family8Euphorbiaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Euphorbia
Euphorbia
(Spurges)

SPOTTED SPURGE

Euphorbia maculata

Spurge Family [Euphorbiaceae]