return to: checklist; keys, key 3; family Euphorbiaceae subfamily Euphorbioideae

Euphorbia heterophylla L.

Weedy herb with milky white latex; leaves opposite towards the base of the stem, alternate towards the apex, simple, variable in shape, linear lanceolate to elliptic, lobed or unlobed, base generally cuneate, margins entire or toothed, apex +/- acute, leaves subtending the reproductive structures somewhat pale near the base, but never red or pink; flowers minute, highly reduced, crowded into cup-like cyathia crowdes at the stem apex; cyathium green, with a single prominent cylindrical, yellow gland; depending on stage of maturity, jointed stamens, naked 3-carpellate ovaries, or explosively dehiscent capsules emerge from the apex of the cyathium.

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Listed as an important source of pollen and/or nectar for bees (Souza Novello 1981).