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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

EUPHORBIACEAE

SPURGE FAMILY

Grady L. Webster, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, tree, vine, monoecious or dioecious
Stem generally branched, sometimes fleshy or spiny
Leaves generally simple, alternate or opposite, generally stipuled, petioled; blade entire, toothed, or palmately lobed
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, raceme, spike; flowers sometimes in clusters (dense, enclosed by involucre, flower-like in Chamaesyce, Euphorbia ), terminal or axillary
Flower unisexual, ± radial; sepals generally 3–5, free or fused; petals generally 0; stamens 1–many, free or filaments fused; ovary superior, chambers 1–4, styles free or fused, simple or lobed
Fruit: generally capsule
Seeds 1–2 per chamber; seed scar appendage sometimes present, pad- to dome-like
Genera in family: 300 genera, 7500 species: ± worldwide especially tropical; some cultivated (Aleurites , tung oil; Euphorbia subsp.; Hevea , rubber; Ricinus )
Reference: [Webster 1967 J Arnold Arbor 48:303–430]
Many species ± highly TOXIC.

DITAXIS

Annual, perennial herb, subshrub, generally monoecious; sap clear; hairs 0 or generally 2-forked, generally appressed
Stems spreading to erect, 1–10 dm
Leaves simple, alternate, stipuled
Inflorescence: raceme, axillary; staminate flowers generally above pistillate flowers; axis generally densely appressed-hairy; bracts entire
Staminate flower: sepals 5, edges abutting in bud; petals 5; stamens 5–15, generally in 2 sets, some > others, filaments fused into a column, staminodes 0–3 at column tip
Pistillate flower: sepals 5, overlapping in bud; petals 5; nectar disk ± dissected; ovary 3-chambered, styles 3, 2-lobed
Fruit smooth
Seeds: surface net-like to finely pitted; scar not appendaged
Species in genus: ± 50 species: tropical, warm temp Am
Etymology: (Greek: 2-ranked, from 2 sets of anthers)

Native

D. serrata (Torr.) A. Heller

Annual or perennial herb
Stem 1–3.5 dm, densely appressed-hairy
Leaf 1–3 cm; stipules 1–1.5 mm, entire; blade widely elliptic to ovate, densely hairy, margin clearly toothed distally
Staminate flower: sepals 2–2.5 mm; petals ± 2 mm, glabrous; stamen column ± 1 mm
Pistillate flower: sepals 3–4 mm, back hairy; petals ± 2.5 mm, obovate, back clearly appressed-hairy, hairs exceeding petal tip; ovary stiff-hairy, styles free, lobe tips not expanded
Fruit ± 2 mm
Seed ± 2 mm, rounded, ± striate, not clearly pitted
Ecology: Sandy or rocky soils, creosote-bush scrub
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Desert
Distribution outside California: Arizona, Mexico
Flowering time: Apr–Nov

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