Euphorbia corollata (Flowering Spurge)
|Also known as:
|part shade, sun; dry prairies, open woods, roadsides
|June - September
|12 to 40 inches
|Wetland Indicator Status:
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):
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Branching clusters of stalked flowers at the top of the plant. Clusters can be loose and airy or denser and more flat topped. Female flowers are ¼ to 3/8-inch across and have 5 white petal-like bracts with a spot of green at the base. In the center is a ring of green to yellowish glands surrounding the green ovary with a 3-parted style at the top. Male flowers have yellow stamens and are inconspicuous. At the base of branches is a pair of leafy bracts.
Leaves are to 3 inches long and ½ inch wide, generally elliptical, rounded at both ends with little or no stalk. Color is a bit blue-green. Attachment is alternate on the lower stem, but opposite or whorled at the base of branches and the flowering branches. Stems are light green, mostly hairless, usually unbranched in the lower stem.
Flowering Spurge is poisonous. Its sap can cause skin irritations. It is easy to ID as nothing else looks quite like it, especially when fruits are present. There are 2 varieties, though they are not universally recognized; var. corollata is found in the eastern half of North America, including Minnesota.
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- Flowering Spurge plant, loosely clustered
- Flowering Spurge plant, more densely clustered
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- more flowers
Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?