Euphorbia lathyris L.
  • Sp. Pl.
  • Euphorbe à feuilles décussées

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2021): Euphorbia lathyris L. Published on the Internet; Accessed on: 18 Sep 2021'

General Information

Herbs, annual, erect, up to 1(-1.5) m tall. Rootstock a simple taproot, slightly swollen in seedlings, up to more than 20 cm × 3-7 mm thick; lateral roots thin and branched. Stem single, gray-green, smooth and glabrous. Leaves opposite, decussate; stipules absent; petiole absent; leaf blade linear-lanceolate, 6-15(-20) × 0.4-2.5 cm, glabrous, base ± clasping stem, margin entire, apex acuminate or acute; midrib prominent adaxially, lateral veins inconspicuous. Inflorescence a terminal pseudumbel, often compound, eventually broad and lax; primary involucral leaves (2-)4 or 5(or 6), slightly yellowish green, narrowly elliptic to ovate-elliptic, somewhat unequal, margin entire, base rounded, primary rays (3 or)4 or 5; cymes regularly many forked; cyathophylls 2, ovate-triangular, 3-8 × 2-4 cm, base truncate to clasping, margin entire, apex acuminate or acute. Cyathium subsessile; involucre subcampanulate, 2.5-4 × 2.5-3.5(-5) mm, lobes triangular-oblong, less repanded or lobed; glands 4, dark brown, transversely oblong-reniform with a club-shaped horn at each tip. Male flowers many, exserted from involucre. Female flower exserted from cup; ovary smooth, glabrous; styles free, slender and long, caducous; style arms 2-lobed. Capsule trigonous-globose, ca. 10 × 13-17 mm, smooth, glabrous. Seeds ovoid-globose to barrel-shaped, 5-8 × 4-6 mm, brown or gray-brown, with black-brown spots on surface, sharply rugulose; caruncle ca. 1.5 mm wide, yellowish, sessile, easily lost. Fl. Apr-Jul. 2n = 20*.

  • Provided by: [E].Flora Of CHina @
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Herbs, annual or biennial, with taproot. Stems erect, unbranched or branched, 200 cm, glabrous, glaucous. Leaves opposite, decussate; petiole absent; blade linear to oblong-lanceolate, 30–120 × 3–25 mm, base acute, rounded, cordate or clasping, margins entire, apex acute or subobtuse, sometimes mucronate, surfaces glabrous, abaxial ± glaucous; venation pinnate, midvein prominent. Cyathial arrangement: terminal pleiochasial branches 2–4, each 1–2 times 2-branched; pleiochasial bracts cordate-lanceolate, shorter and wider than distal leaves; dichasial bracts distinct, ovate-oblong to lanceolate, base subcordate, margins entire, apex acute; axillary cymose branches 0–10. Cyathia: peduncle 0–0.5 mm. Involucre campanulate, 1.2–2.3 × 1.4–2.5 mm, glabrous; glands 4, elliptic, 0.3–0.6 × 1–1.3 mm; horns divergent, thick, tips rounded, dilated, 0.5–1.4 mm. Staminate flowers 25–30. Pistillate flowers: ovary glabrous; styles 0.7–2.2 mm, 2-fid. Capsules depressed-globose, 9–12 × 12–16 mm, deeply 3-lobed, tardily dehiscent and appearing indehiscent, mesocarp spongy; cocci rounded, smooth, glabrous; columella 4–5.2 mm. Seeds brownish or blackish, oblong, 4.5–6 × 3–4.2 mm, rugose, irregularly reticulate; caruncle substipitate, hat-shaped, 1.6–2 × 1.2–1.5 mm.

  • Provided by: [G].Flora of North America @
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    "Annual or biennial, glabrous and glaucous, to 1 or even 2 m, usually simple to the umbel; cauline lvs opposite, linear or lance-linear, sessile at the truncate or subcordate base, those subtending the umbel similar, usually 4, those of the umbel lance-ovate to deltoid-ovate; involucres 4 mm; fr 1 cm, thick-walled, tardily dehiscent; seeds 4–6 mm, very plump, wrinkled and carunculate; 2n=20. Native of the Mediterranean region, escaped from cult. here and there in our range. May–Sept. (Tithymalus l.; Galarhoeus l.)"

  • Provided by: [F].New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    An erect, glabrous, glaucous annual or biennial, thick-stemmed herb up to 1.5 m tall, but more usually 0.5-1 m tall, often with numerous axillary leafy shoots arising near the middle of the stem. Stem-leaves opposite, decussate, sessile; leaf-blades linear-lanceolate, 3-10 x 0.4-1.7 cm, acute or subacute and mucronulate, shallowly cordate at the base, entire, penninerved, dark blue-green. Pseudumbel (0-) 2-4-rayed, sometimes many times bifid; axillary rays 0 or few below the pseudumbel; pseudumbel-leaves 2-4, opposite or whorled, ovate-lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, slightly smaller than the upper stem-leaves; ray-leaves opposite, triangular-ovate, acutely acuminate, pale green, shorter and broader than the pseudumbel-leaves. Cyathia pedunculate, pale green, the peduncle purplish. Glands 2-homed, the horns divergent, spathulate, yellowish-green blotched with purple. Fruit hexalobate-subglobose, 0.9-1.3 x 1.3-1.7 cm, smooth when fresh, wrinkled with age, with a spongy mesocarp and woody endocarp. Styles erect or recurved, 2.5-3 mm long, ± free, deeply bipartite, the stigmas slightly thickened. Seeds ovoid, somewhat laterally compressed, truncate at both ends, obliquely so at the apex, 4.5-5 x 3-3.5 x 3.5-4 mm, vermiculate-rugulose, pale grey or brownish, with a small patelliform caruncle.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora of Pakistan
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 


    20–100 cm hoch, vollständig kahl. Stängel dick, bereift, im 1. Jahr dicht beblättert, im 2. Jahr unten blattlos. Stängelblätter kreuzweise gegenständig (nur bei dieser Art), bandförmig, 5–12 cm lang und 5–15 mm breit, sitzend. Blütens

  • Provided by: [B].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 5
    • ]. 


    6–8. Schuttplätze, in warmen Lagen, wohl nur aus Gärten verwildert, kollin. CH.

  • Provided by: [B].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 5
    • ]. 

    Other Local Names

    Euphorbe à feuilles décusséesFrenchCH
    Kreuzblättrige WolfsmilchGermanCH
    Mole or gopher plant, caper spurge, euphorbe épurge
    Euforbia catapuziaItalianCH

     Information From

    • A CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz, Konrad Lauber, Gerhart Wagner, Andreas Gygax. Haupt Verlag 2018.
    • B All Rights Reserved
    Flora of Pakistan
    Flora of Pakistan. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2020.
    • C Missouri Botanical Garden
    Brazilian Flora 2020 project - Projeto Flora do Brasil 2020
    Brazil Flora G (2014): Brazilian Flora 2020 project - Projeto Flora do Brasil 2020. v393.147. Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janeiro. Dataset/Checklist. doi:10.15468/1mtkaw
    • D Group Brazil Flora, REFLORA Program
    Flora Of CHina @
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • E Missouri Botanical Garden
    New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • F Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    Flora of North America @
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • G Flora of North America Association
    World Flora Online consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • H CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).