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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Euphorbia paralias

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 458 (1753).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Sea spurge.

Glabrous somewhat fleshy glaucous half-shrub, perennial, stems 1 to 9, erect, stiff, to 70 cm long and 2-5 mm thick, arising from a long strong tap root, branching from the base, woody basally, forming a pseudo-umbel of 3-5 rays, each of them up to 3 times dichotomous; leafy stems clavate before flowering in outline; cauline leaves crowded, imbricate, sessile, 5-20 mm (in S.Aust.) elsewhere to 30 mm long, 2-5 mm wide, very thick and fleshy, with a broad almost cordate base, lowest ones obovate-oblong, middle-ones elliptic-oblong and upper ones ovate and to 15 mm wide, obtuse or acute, somewhat concave; ray-leaves like the upper cauline; raylet-leaves suborbicular-rhombic to reniform, strongly adaxially concave.

Cyathia on a distinct peduncle to 0.5 mm long, solitary in the middle of the fork or axillary or terminal; involucre campanulate, c. 1.5 mm long and wide, yellow-green, hairy in the throat, lobes oblong; glands lunate, to 1 mm long, emarginate, with 2 short divaricate horn-like acute tips.

Capsule depressed-globular, 3-lobed, 3-5 x 4.5-6 mm, deeply furrowed, granulate-wrinkled on the keels; carpels rounded; seed ovoid-globular, 2.5-3.5 mm long, ashy-white with darker spots, smooth, with a distinct groove ventrally and keeled dorsally; caruncle very small, reniform.

image of FSA2_Euphorbia_para.jpg Euphorbia paralias twigs, cyathium, fruit and seed.
Image source: fig 402b in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Fiori & Paoletti (1901) Iconographia florae Italicae, fig. 2607; Ross-Craig (1969) Drawings Brit. Pl. 26:t. 43; Zohary (1972) Flora Palaestina 2:t. 422.

Distribution:  Frequent on sandy sea shores.

S.Aust.: NU, EP, YP, SL, KI, SE.   W.Aust.; Vic.; Tas.   a Mediterranean species with extensions into adjacent areas of the Euro-Siberian regions.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Sept. — May.

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

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available

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