TURKISH WOOD-SPURGE

Euphorbia amygdaloides ssp. robbiae

Spurge Family [Euphorbiaceae]

month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8may

status
statusZalien
flower
flower8yellow
inner
inner8green
petals
petalsZ0
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8hollow
stem
stem8milkysap
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
contact
contactZmedium

18th Feb 2013, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
After the wettest year on record, the plant is spreading to pastures anew. Flowering in mid February!


18th Feb 2013, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Has succulent-like thick reddish stems. Flowers still developing.


18th Feb 2013, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The crescent shapes are there even in young flowers.


20th April 2009, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
A semi-shade-loving garden plant that escapes into the wild; this one growing wild about a garden.


20th April 2009, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
A perennial about 90cm tall that is un-branched (apart from the flowering stalks). There is a stem-leaf just under every furcation of a flowering stem, and a whorl of five leaves just where the top-most flowering stems trifurcate.


20th April 2009, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
New leaves have a shiny dark-green appearance and are hairless, un-like the very similar Wood Spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides ssp. amygdaloides) and which has hairs on the underside of the leaves.


22nd April 2008, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Like all spurges, the flowers are minute and lack petals.


22nd April 2008, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The flower has are four yellowish-green spanner-head-shaped lobes (here some are going brownish) and a short stalk with a stalked female flower with a small green rounded fruit topped by three styles that bifurcate in two. The four male flowers are much smaller with just one minute stamen, not discernible in this photo. The paired lime-green cups are not leaves but bracts.


5th April 2006, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


20th April 2009, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The single stamens (which have a short bifurcation at the tip) of the four male flowers are at the centre of the four spanner-head shaped yellow crescents, which are parts of the flower.


22nd April 2008, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The paired bract under the ultimate paired flower has two nicks and is perfoliate encircling the stem.


22nd April 2008, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The single stamens (which have a short bifurcation at the tip and yellow pollen) of the four male flowers are at the foot of the four spanner-head shaped yellow crescents. Your Author doesn't know what the even tinier white bits are, maybe they do have (minuscule) petals after all? The fruits are slightly knobbly and have two hardly discernible lobes.


20th April 2009, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
This flower seems to have suffered a little damage.


20th April 2009, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Single un-branched stem reddens towards the ground. Lower leaves in rosettes around stem.


Easily mis-identified as : Wood Spurge( (Euphorbia amygdaloides ssp. amygdaloides) but this sub-species has hairs on the underside of the leaves, and dull rather than shiny first-year leaves..

No relation to : Turkish Iris nor to Turkish Squill [plants with similar names in differing families].

Like all Spurges, the stems will ooze a toxic and caustic latex if broken which should not be allowed to make contact with the skin. In fact, handling Spurges with bare hands is never wise, contact dermatitis can result.

A garden plant that readily escapes into the wild, occupying woods, hedgerows and other places in the semi-shade.

AMYGDALOIDINS (JATROPHANE DITERPENES)

Euphorbia amygdaloidins contains 12 new diterpenoid Jatrophanes called Amygdaloidins suffixed A-L. They exhibit cytotoxicity and may be useful in treating multi-drug-resistant cancer. They are not dis-similar to the 16 Euphodendrophanes A-P found in Tree Spurge Euphorbia dendroides, a tree which has no wild presence in the UK. As if to add weight to the similarity, Euphodendroidin I was also found in Wood Spurge.


Possessing a nitrogen atom in one of the side-groups (Nicotinoyl, shown in blue - based on Nicotinic Acid) makes this Jatrophane an alkaloid, one of the few alkaloidal diterpenes within Spurges. The eleven other Amygdaloides found within Wood Spurge have differing numbers and arrangements of -OH, O-Acetyl, -O-Angeloyl, O-Nicotinoyl and -O-'Hydrp' groups scattered about the periphery (your Author doesn't know to which chemical group 'Hydrp' refers, but it is a peroxide with formulae shown alongside This must be the first time your Author has found a peroxide within a plant (the -O-O- group, which is easily broken as it is in hydrogen peroxide HO-OH). Altogether, three out of the twelve Amygdaloidins within Wood Spurge contain the Nicotinoyl alkaloid group, and nine contain the 'hydrp' peroxide group.

Going anti-clockwise on Amygdaloidin A, starting from the blue Nicotinic Acid moiety, the next one is based on Methacrylic Acid, then AngelicAcid (first found in Garden Angelica (Angelica archangelica)), a ketone group followed by two Acetic Acid moieties.


Amygdaloidin E above contains both the Nicotinoyl moiety (shown in blue) moiety and the 'hydrp' peroxide moiety (shown in gold) which seems to be a peroxide of TiglicAcid (the trans-isomer of AngelicAcid).


  Euphorbia amygdaloides ssp. robbiae  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Euphorbiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Spurge family8Euphorbiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Euphorbia
Euphorbia
(Spurges)

TURKISH WOOD-SPURGE

Euphorbia amygdaloides ssp. robbiae

Spurge Family [Euphorbiaceae]