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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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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.



Daryl L. Koutnik

Annual, perennial herb, generally monoecious, glabrous or hairy
Stem ascending to erect, < 1 m; branches forked, forks equal
Leaves cauline, generally alternate; stipules 0 or gland-like; petiole present or 0; leaf base symmetrical
Inflorescence flower-like or not, generally clustered; clusters generally umbel-like or cyme-like; involucre ± bell-shaped; bracts 5, fused; glands generally 4, distal appendages generally 0; flowers central
Staminate flowers 5–many, generally in 5 clusters around pistillate flower
Pistillate flower 1, central, stalked; ovary chambers 3, ovule 1 per chamber, styles 3, separate or fused at base, divided or entire
Fruit: capsule, round to 3-angled or -lobed in X -section
Seed round or angled in X -section; surface smooth or sculptured, generally with a knob-like structure at attachment scar
Species in genus: ± 1500 species: warm temp to tropical, worldwide. See Chamaesyce
Etymology: (Latin: Euphorbus, Physician to the King of Mauritania, 1st century)
Reference: [Wheeler 1936 Bull S Calif Acad Sci 35:127–147]
Horticultural information: STBL.


E. misera Benth.


Stem erect, 5–10 dm, hairy, becoming glabrous
Leaf 0.4–1.5 cm, petioled; stipule thread-like; blade ovate to round, hairy, tip round, margin entire
Inflorescence 1 at branch tip; involucre 2–3 mm, bell-shaped, hairy; glands 5, 1.5–2 mm, oblong, appendage = to gland width, scalloped, white
Staminate flowers 30–40
Pistillate flower: style divided 1/2 length
Fruit 4–5 mm, spheric, lobed, becoming glabrous
Seed 2.5–3 mm, ovoid, round, wrinkled, white to gray; knob 0
Ecology: Rocky slopes, coastal bluffs
Elevation: < 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: South Coast, s Channel Islands, w Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: Baja California
Flowering time: Jan–Aug
Horticultural information: In cultivation.

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