Euphorbia exstipulata Engelm.
Family: Euphorbiaceae
squareseed spurge,  more...
[Euphorbia aliceae ,  more]
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Max Licher  
Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Jepson 1993, Allred and Ivey 2012, Heil et al. 2013, FNA 2016
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annual herb, 15-20 cm tall; stems erect, branching, the branches spreading to ascending; herbage minutely appressed-pubescent. Leaves: Opposite along the stems and branches, with most leaves clustered near branch tips with the flowers; blade linear to lanceolate, 2-4 cm long and 3-30 mm wide, finely serrate, the tip pointed, and the base symmetric and tapered into a short petiole; with tiny glandlike stipules at the base of the petioles. Flowers: Has the highly modified flower structure characteristic of Euphorbias. Structures called cyathia appear to be individual flowers, but are composed of fused-together bracts forming a cup (involucre), with peripheral nectary glands which are often subtended by petal-like bracts called petaloid appendages. Within the cup there is a ring of inconspicuous male flowers, each reduced to a single stamen. Out of the middle protrudes a single, stalked female flower which lacks petals. In Euphorbia exstipulata, the cyathia (modified flowers) are clustered into leafy cyme-like inflorescences at branch tips. Involucres are top-shaped or bell-shaped, and 1.5 mm high, and glabrous or hairy, with 4 pink to yellow glands around the edge, each with a tiny white to pink petaloid appendage which is sometimes divided into triangular lobes; 10-12 staminate flowers. Fruits: Capsule distinctly 3-lobed, depressed-oblong to ovoid, 3 mm wide, sparsely hairy; seeds white to gray or light brown, ovoid, 2 mm long, bluntly 4-angled in cross section, tuberculate (bumpy), often with 2 transverse ridges. Ecology: Found in dry rocky spots from 3,000-6,500 ft (914-1981 m); flowers August-October. Distribution: s CA, s UT, AZ, NM, s TX; south to c MEX. Notes: Distinguished by being a low, erect annual with opposite branching on the lower stems and often forked branching in the inflorescence; narrow opposite leaves, most of them with serrate edges; leaves below the flowers all green (in other species these can be bicolored); flowers have toothed white petaloid appendages; and angled seeds. Broad-leaved plants are sometimes segregated as var. lata (not to be confused with Euphorbia lata, a synonym of Chamaesyce lata and a completely different species), but the variation in leaf shape is continuous and FNA and Allred do not formally recognize any varieties. E. davidii is similar but is generally a larger plant, has only one gland per involucre, and lacks petaloid appendages. This species is a member of the Pointsettia section of Euphorbia. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genus have uses. Etymology: Euphorbia is named for Euphorbus, Greek physician of Juba II, King of Mauretania; exstipulata means lacking stipules, alluding to the tiny reduced gland-like stipules. Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2017
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Liz Makings  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Max Licher  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Patrick Alexander  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Kirstin Phillips  
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Kirstin Phillips  
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Euphorbia exstipulata image
Euphorbia exstipulata image