Euphorbia helioscopia L.
summer spurge (madwoman's milk)
Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Robert Flogaus-Faust     (Photo ID #26245)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Euphorbia helioscopia
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Species Information

Annual herb from a fibrous root; stems somewhat fleshy, simple or branched below, branched in an umbrella-shape above, sparsely hairy below to densely hairy above, with milky juice, 20-50 cm tall.
Stem leaves alternate, fleshy, lower leaves oblanceolate to spoon-shaped, narrowing gradually to the base, 1.5-3 cm long, finely toothed; floral leaves opposite to whorled, finely toothed.
Inflorescence of usually 5-rayed umbrella-shaped clusters; involucres about 2.5 mm long; glands 4, greenish-yellow, not horned.
Capsules, glabrous; seeds egg-shaped, about 2 mm long, yellowish-brown to brownish-black, finely pitted, narrowly ridged.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

Habitat and Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, fields and waste places in the lowland and montane zones; rare in SW BC and SE BC; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Galarhoeus helioscopius (L.) Haw.
Tithymalus helioscopius (L.) Hill