Euphorbia peplus L.

First published in Sp. Pl.: 456 (1753)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Medit. to Somalia, Europe to W. Himalaya. It is an annual and grows primarily in the temperate biome. It is used as animal food, a poison and a medicine and for food.

Descriptions

Euphorbiaceae, S. Carter & L.C. Leach. Flora Zambesiaca 9:5. 2001

Morphology General Habit
Annual herb to 25(35) cm high, glabrous.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves with a petiole to 1 cm long, shorter above; lamina to 25 × 15 mm, obovate, rounded at the apex, cuneate at the base, entire at the margin.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Cymes axillary and in terminal 3-branched umbels forking many times, with primary rays to 3.5 cm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Bracts sessile, similar to the leaves but more ovate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Cyathia
Cyathia on peduncles to 1.3 mm long, 1 × 1 mm with cup-shaped involucres; glands 4, 0.5 mm wide, transversely oblong with 2 horns to 0.8 mm long; lobes rounded, minute, margins ciliate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Male flowers: bracteoles linear, with minutely ciliate tips; stamens 1 mm long. Female flower: ovary glabrous; styles 0.3 mm long, joined at the base, spreading with deeply bifid apices.
sex Male
Male flowers: bracteoles linear, with minutely ciliate tips; stamens 1 mm long.
sex Female
Female flower: ovary glabrous; styles 0.3 mm long, joined at the base, spreading with deeply bifid apices.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule exserted on a pedicel to 3 mm long, 2 × 2 mm, deeply 3-lobed with truncate base and with longitudinal fleshy ridges each side of the sutures.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 1.5 × 1 mm, oblong-ovoid with longitudinal rows of deep pits, reddish-brown becoming grey; caruncle 0.3 mm across, smooth, white.
[FZ]

Distribution
Biogeografic region: Andean. Elevation range: 1700–3100 m a.s.l. Naturalised in Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Bogotá DC, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Nariño, Quindío.
Habit
Herb.
Ecology
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, shrubland, artificial - terrestrial.
[UPFC]

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Distribution
Naturalizada en Colombia; Alt. 1700 - 3100 m.; Andes.
Morphology General Habit
Hierba
Conservation
No Evaluada
[CPLC]

Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia. http://www.biovirtual.unal.edu.co/nombrescomunes/

Vernacular
hierba de leche, leche eterna, lechero pequeño, picantico, picantina, pituya, teología, yerbaeleche
[UNAL]

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

Morphology General Habit
Glabrous slender annual, branched from near the base
Morphology Leaves
Leaves 5–20 x 3–12 mm, petiolate, ovate to suborbicular, entire; ray-leaves like the cauline, but with shorter petioles; raylet-leaves smaller, slightly obliquely ovate
Ray
Rays 3, dichotomous
Morphology General Glands
Glands 4, with 2 filiform horns
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule c. 2 x 2 mm, shallowly sulcate, smooth
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 1.1–1.4 mm long, sulcate ventrally and pitted dorsally, pale grey, darker in the depressions; caruncle 0.3 mm across.
Distribution
N2 almost cosmopolitan weed, probably of Eurasian origin, nearest in Eritrea.
Ecology
Altitude range 1150 m.
Note
First record for Somalia (Madarshon at 11°02’N, 48°58’E).
[FSOM]

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

Morphology General Habit
Glabrous annual herb to 25 cm. high.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves obovate, to 25 × 15 mm., base cuneate, apex rounded, margin entire; petiole of lower leaves to 1 cm. long, shorter above.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Cymes axillary and in terminal 3-branched umbels forking many times, with primary rays to 3.5 cm. long; bracts sessile, similar to the leaves but more ovate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Cyathia
Cyathia on peduncles to 1.3 mm. long, 1 × 1 mm., with cup-shaped involucres; glands 4, transversely oblong, 0.5 mm. broad, with 2 horns to 0.8 mm. long; lobes rounded, minute, margins ciliate.
sex Male
Male flowers:bracteoles linear, tips minutely ciliate; stamens 1 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female flower:styles 0.3 mm. long, joined at the base, spreading, bifid for 2/3. Male flowers:bracteoles linear, tips minutely ciliate; stamens 1 mm. long.
sex Female
Female flower:styles 0.3 mm. long, joined at the base, spreading, bifid for 2/3.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule exserted on a pedicel to 3 mm. long, deeply 3-lobed, with truncate base, 2 × 2 mm., with longitudinal fleshy ridges each side of the sutures.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds oblong-ovoid, 1.5 × 1 mm., reddish brown becoming grey, with longitudinal rows of deep pits and a smooth white caruncle 0.3 mm. across.
Habitat
Weed of cultivation and disturbed ground, in shade; 1700–2100 m.
Distribution
T4 T7 originating from Europe and E. Asia, a weed of world-wide temperate and subtropical zones including South Africa, and fairly recently introduced into Zimbabwe and Sudan
[FTEA]

Uses

Use Animal Food
Used as animal food.
Use Food
Used for food.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.
Use Poisons
Poisons.
[UPFC]

Sources

  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Colombian resources for Plants made Accessible

    • ColPlantA 2021. Published on the Internet at http://colplanta.org
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • 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 Vascular Plants 2022. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2022. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Science Photographs

    • Copyright applied to individual images
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    • ColPlantA database
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0