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Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Euphorbia exigua

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. (1753).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Dwarf spurge.

Slender glabrous glaucous annual up to 35cm (to 15cm in S.Aust.) high, stems leafy, often much-branched from the base (in S.Aust. sometimes with a single stem to 10 cm tall) with up to 3 rarely more axillary rays; rays up to 7 times dichotomously branched into raylets; cauline leaves sessile, linear to oblong, 3-25 x 1-2 mm, acute, cuneate, entire; ray-leaves like the upper cauline; raylet-leaves obliquely triangular-ovate-lanceolate, obtuse to cordate at the base, 4-5 x c. 1.5 mm, rarely l- or 2-toothed on one side near the base.

cyathia solitary, axillary or terminal, on distinct peduncles to 0.5 mm long; involucre campanulate, c. 1 mm long and wide, yellow-green; glands lunate, to 0.5 mm long, red-brown, with 2 usually dark-brown horns usually longer than the width of the gland, rarely the horns much reduced or setaceous; styles divided to the middle, filiform, rotate.

capsule ovoid, 3-lobed, 1.6-2 x c. 1.6 mm, shallowly grooved, smooth but granulate on the keels of the back; seed quadrangular-ovoid, c. 1.2 x c. 1 mm, dark-grey at the base, irregularly covered with transverse white tubercles; caruncle depressed-globose, with 2 lobes on the lower side.

image of FSA2_Euphorbia_exi.jpg Euphorbia exigua habit, cyathium, fruit and seed.
Image source: fig 401f in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Fiori & Paoletti (1901) Iconographiae Florae Italicae, fig. 2598; Ross-Craig (1969) Drawings Brit. Pl. 26: t. 40; Zohary (1972) Flora Palaestina 2:t. 413.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: EP, SL, SE.   Native to Europe, now widespread as a weed in cultivated ground to western Asia and northern America.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Oct. — Feb.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: Cyathia may appear as several together as they are gathered in a flat-topped pseudo-umbel at the ends of the axillary ray or raylet branches.

Author: Not yet available

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