Skip to main content
This species is accepted, and its native range is Egypt to Kenya, Arabian Peninsula.
Euphorbia nubica

[FTEA]

Euphorbiaceae, A. R.-Smith. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1987

Morphology General Habit
Sprawling or scrambling glabrous perennial shrub forming tangled masses to 2 m. high, densely branched with branchlets eventually ± parallel to the main branches; branches and branchlets ± 1 cm. thick, green, with leaf-scars made prominent by the formation of a dark brown callus developed as the leaf falls.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves sessile, lanceolate, to ± 18 × 5 mm., becoming reflexed, caducous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Cymes in 3–7-branched umbels surrounding a central cyathium, with simple rays to 2 cm. long; bracts broadly deltoid, to 5 mm. long, caducous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Cyathia
Cyathia on peduncles to 2 mm. long, ± 3.5 × 10 mm., with broadly funnel-shaped involucres, but twice as large in the deciduous central cyathium which develops only ♂ flowers; glands 4, or 7–8 in the central cyathium, circular to transversely elliptic, to 3.5 × 5 mm., golden yellow; lobes broadly triangular, 1 × 2 mm., with apex deeply notched, margin finely ciliate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Male flowers:bracteoles very numerous, spathulate, apices plumose; stamens 4.5 mm. long. Female flower:ovary pedicellate; styles ± 3 mm. long, joined at the base with spreading thickened apices bifid for 1 mm.
sex Male
Male flowers:bracteoles very numerous, spathulate, apices plumose; stamens 4.5 mm. long.
sex Female
Female flower:ovary pedicellate; styles ± 3 mm. long, joined at the base with spreading thickened apices bifid for 1 mm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule obtusely 3-lobed, to ± 1 × 1.5 cm., exserted on a reflexed pedicel ± 1 cm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds ovoid, ± 4 × 3.3 mm., grey, faintly rugulose, with a caruncle 1.5 mm. across.
Figures
Fig. 89/3.
Habitat
In dry open deciduous woodland and bushland; 1350–1525 m.
Distribution
K1 K2 U2

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Rounded densely branched shrub 0.5–4 m high, occasionally scrambling to 5 m high
Morphology Branches
Branches succulent, 5–10 mm thick, marked with very prominent dark brown callose leaf-scars
Morphology Leaves
Leaves sessile, linear-lanceolate, 1–1.5 x 0.3–0.5 cm, very soon deciduous; stipules absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Cymes in terminal 5–7-branched umbels, with rays 1–2 cm long, surrounding a central sessile cyathium usually developing only male flowers; bracts ovate, 3.5 x 3 mm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Involucre
Cyathia subsessile; 7–8 mm in diam., with the central cyathium larger; glands 4, or 6–8 on the central cyathium, separate, 3–3.5 mm broad, yellow
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens well exserted
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary glabrous; styles 3 mm long, joined at the base, spreading, with thickened bifid apices
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule exserted on a slightly recurved pedicel 7–8 mm long, very obtusely 3-lobed, 7–8 x 9–10 mm, buff tinged with pink
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds ovoid, c. 3 x 2.75 mm, smooth, greyish brown; caruncle 1 mm across.
Distribution
N1; Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, N Kenya
Ecology
Altitude range 365–1770 m.
Vernacular
Ciin, ergin, mirhig yer (Somali)
Note
Field-study is needed of this very variable species, with at least three apparently intergrading forms in Somalia which could prove to be distinct taxa. The typical form from Eritrea produces a densely branched erect shrub 1–1.5 m high, with greyish green to yellowish green branches. The most common form in Somalia appears to be identical, except that it has a tendency to scramble amongst denser vegetation (to 5 m). It occurs on alluvial limestone soils from the western border to Burao.

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Densely branched shrub 30–100 cm high, occasionally subscandent to 2 m high; ultimate branchlets 2–4 cm long, succulent, 2–5 mm thick marked with fairly prominent brown callose leaf-scars, greyish green and often purple-blotched
Morphology Leaves
Leaves sessile, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 5–35 x 2–5 mm; stipules absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Cymes in terminal 2–5-branched umbels, with rays 3–6 mm long surrounding a central sessile cyathium which usually develops only male flowers; bracts sessile, ovate, 3.5 x 3 mm, usually persistent until capsule development
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Involucre
Cyathia 6.5 mm in diam.; glands 4, or 5 on the central cyathium, separate, 2.5 mm broad, yellow becoming red
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary glabrous; styles 2.5 mm long, joined at the base, with shortly bifid apices
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule exserted on a slightly recurved pedicel 3–6 mm long, distinctly 3-lobed, 4.5 x 5.5 mm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds ovoid, 2.75 x 2 mm, minutely tuberculate, yellowish brown; caruncle 0.5 mm across.
Distribution
N2, 3; C1; Sudan (Red Sea Hills), Arabian Peninsula, E Ethiopia
Ecology
Altitude range 0–2135 m.
Vernacular
Ciin, enjir ad, ergin (Somali)
Note
Plants from the northeast mountain ranges have a similar erect habit, to 1 m high, as those from the type-locality in the Red Sea Hills (Sudan), but further south, at lower altitudes, habit becomes more straggly to almost subscandent. Characteristic features of the species are retained throughout this distribution, such as small cyathia, small distinctly lobed capsules and minutely tuberculate seeds. However, in Somalia, one significant characteristic of the species – persistent involucral bracts – is scarcely evident, such that a distinct taxon (or taxa) may be involved. Field study is required before this can be resolved.

Doubtfully present in:

Sinai

Native to:

Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda

Euphorbia nubica N.E.Br. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Bally, P.R.O. [B. 7049], Eritrea 15783.000
Bally, P.R.O., Eritrea 35426.000
Ash [1251], Ethiopia 35798.000
Copley, H. [Bally E 146], Kenya 4096.000
Bally, P.R.O. [9445], Ethiopia 4119.000
Robertson, S.A. [1334], Ethiopia 42315.000
Kenya 45645.000
Kenya 45646.000
Bally [9148], Ethiopia 48055.000
Bally, P.R.O. [10370], Somalia 5233.000
Carter [2000], Sudan 53979.000
Collenette, J.S. [8718], Djibouti 58341.000
Schweinfurth, G. [1083], Eritrea K000252850
Schweinfurth, G. [207] K000252851
Schweinfurth [265] K000252852
Bent, J.T. [s.n.] K000252853
Collenette, I.S. [7750], Saudi Arabia Euphorbia consobrina 49931.000
Carter [1861], Sudan Euphorbia consobrina 52787.000
Collenette, J.S. [8307], Oman Euphorbia consobrina 58323.000
Collenette, J.S. [8841], Oman Euphorbia consobrina 62100.000

First published in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 6(1): 554 (1911)

Accepted by

  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Dobignard, A. & Chatelain, C. (2013). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 5: 1-451. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
  • Govaerts, R., Frodin, D.G. & Radcliffe-Smith, A. (2000). World Checklist and Bibliography of Euphorbiaceae (and Pandaceae) 1-4: 1-1622. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 1, (1993) Author: by S. Carter [updated by M. Thulin 2008]
  • Pickering, H. & Awale, A. I. (2018). Introduction to plants in Central Somaliland. Ponte Invisibile, Redsea Cultural Foundation.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Cufod., Enumeratio Plantarum Aethiopiae Spermatophyta (Supplement in Bull. Jard. Bot. Brux.) p. 453 (1958).
  • F. W. Andr., The Flowering Plants of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 2: 68 (1952).
  • N.E. Br. in Flora of Tropical Africa 6(1): 554 (1911).

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Science Photographs
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/