TWIGGY SPURGE

Euphorbia esula × waldsteinii

Euphorbia × pseudovirgata

Spurge Family [Euphorbiaceae]  

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
inner
inner8green
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ0
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8hollow
 
stem
stem8milkysap stem8milkylatex
 
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
 
contact
contactZmedium
 

11th June 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Forms large-ish patches in grassland.


16th Aug 2010, Hightown, Sefton Coast, Photo: © RWD
Displaying its 'twiggy' nature.


11th June 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
A profusion of leaves and flowers. Like Cypress Spurge the flowers are bright yellow.


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The stems are twiggy, and have leafy side-branches bearing linear leaves. Stalks with flowers come off the main stalk in several places near the top.


16th Aug 2010, Hightown, Sefton Coast, Photo: © RWD


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The top is crowned by the (here) seven-fold symmetric branching, encircled by a whorl of (here) seven wider leaves just below the junction. A large fruit nestles just above the (here) 7-way junction. Other specimens differ in the number.


16th Aug 2010, Hightown, Sefton Coast, Photo: © RWD
Whereas here displaying 5-fold symmetry.


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Seven flowers (here) at the summit, and sporadic numbers of flowers coming off the stem at intervals below them.


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The stem leaves amidst the single flowers are shorter and wider and far fewer than the many long narrow linear leaves coming off the main stem on branches.


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Flower head yellowish-green with a number of flowers on long stalks.


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are between two large heart-shaped yellow bracts opposing each other. The bracts have points at the tips and a little wavy. The fruit bears three long protrusions from the end.


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Each flower has four shiny yellow short-horned lobes facing outwards plus a doubled-over fruit, and two 'latent' un-folded bracts.


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The two un-folded bracts might also contain flower parts.


16th Aug 2010, Hightown, Sefton Coast, Photo: © RWD
With the styles here tipped black they are easier to discern.


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The four shiny short-horned yellow lobes are like open-ended square-nut spanners, all facing away from each other.


16th Aug 2010, Hightown, Sefton Coast, Photo: © RWD
The imature fruit is only slightly 3-lobed. Good view of the bracts underneath.


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
A more mature plant bearing developed three-lobed fruits.


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The three-lobed reddened nuts turn brown later. The points on the tips of the bracts are in evidence.


7th Aug 2009, Hightown, Sefton Coastal Path, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The leaves on the branched stems are long, narrow and slowly taper to a point. There is a mid-rib better seen from the underside.


16th Aug 2010, Hightown, Sefton Coast, Photo: © RWD
Like all spurges the broken stems ooze a toxic white sap. Leaves narrow with pale-green mid-rib visible on underside.


Not to be confused semantically with either the common name or the specific epithet of : Twiggy Mullein (Verbascum virgatum) [a plant with similar name belonging to a differing family]

This is the hybrid of: Leafy Spurge with Waldstein's Spurge,

The toxic white sap of Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula) (one of Twiggy Spurge's parents) contains both diterpenoid Jatrophanes called, in the case of Leafy Spurge, Esculatins and diterpenoid Ingenanes but your Author has not found out which type of toxins the other parent Waldstein's Spurge (Euphorbia waldsteinii) contains, nor that of this hybrid. Being a hybrid you would expect any found in either to also be present in Twiggy Spurge.

Twiggy Spurge is an alien Spurge; one of about 10 that are locally established.


  Euphorbia × pseudovirgata  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Euphorbiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Spurge family8Euphorbiceaeceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Euphorbia
Euphorbia
(Spurges)

TWIGGY SPURGE

Euphorbia esula × waldsteinii

Euphorbia × pseudovirgata

Spurge Family [Euphorbiaceae]  

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