Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Euphorbia maculata L.
- Family: Spurge (Euphorbiaceae)
- Flowering: May-October
- Field Marks: This species has milky sap, opposite, asymmetrical leaves with small teeth, and
fine hairs at least near the tip of the stems.
- Habitat: Old fields, thickets, roadsides, open woods, sandy shores, sand and gravel bars, and
- Habit: Annual herb with slender roots.
- Stems: Upright or ascending or prostrate, branched, up to 2 feet long, hairy at least near the
tip, with milky sap.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, mostly oblong, rounded or pointed at the tip, rounded at the
asymmetrical base, finely toothed, usually somewhat hairy, up to 1 1/2 inches long, often with
a red blotch in the center of the leaf, with milky sap.
- Flowers: 1-few in the axils of the leaves.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0, replaced by 4 red or white, usually spherical glands.
- Stamens: 1 per flower.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Capsules 3-lobed, smooth or sometimes with short, stiff hairs, up to 1/12 inch in
diameter; seeds minute, 4-angled, with wavy ridges.
- Notes: This species is usually poisonous to livestock. The leaves are extremely variable in size
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