Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Sebastiana fruticosa (W. Bartram) Fernald
- Family: Spurge (Euphorbiaceae)
- Flowering: May-June
- Field Marks: This shrub has lanceolate to elliptic, toothless, alternate leaves, yellowish
green flowers in spike-like racemes borne in the axils of the uppermost leaves. The leaf
stalks are never more than 1/2 inch long.
- Habitat: Low woods, swamps, shaded stream banks, alluvial woods, moist hammocks, deep
ravines, floodplain woods.
- Habit: Shrub to 10 feet tall.
- Stems: Branched, grayish to brown, smooth, bearing persistent leathery bases of the stipules.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, lanceolate to elliptic, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, up to
3 1/2 inches long, up to 1 1/2 inches wide, toothless, smooth; leaf stalks up to 1/2 inch long,
usually ciliate near the top.
- Flowers: Several borne in spike-like racemes in the axils of the uppermost leaves; male and
female flowers borne separately on the same plant, the male flowers above, the female flowers
- Sepals: 3, free or united at the base.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; stigmas 3, recurved.
- Fruits: Capsules ovoid, 3-parted, broader than long, smooth, up to 1/3 inch long; seeds ovoid
to oblongoid, light brown, up to 1/4 inch long.
- Notes: This species was known as Sebastiana ligustrina in the past.
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