Euphorbiaceae  Juss., nom. cons.

pronounced: yoo-for-bee-AY-see-eye

the spurge family

Euphorbus cyathiumwas a physician in ancient Greece. This is one of the largest and most diverse of the plant families. Most members exude a milky sap, generally white, and often toxic. There are many herbaceous spurges, but the Euphorbia genus is best known for its many succulent species, some of which appear to be very similar to cacti. All flowers of the Euphorbiaceae are unisexual, and they are often tiny. In the Euphorbia genus, the flowers are reduced even more and are aggregated into an inflorescence known as a cyathium. The main defining feature of the cyathium is the floral envelope (involucre) that surrounds each group of flowers. The involucre almost always has at least one special gland attached, usually on the upper rim, the glands and their appendages varying greatly in both size and shape. There may also be specialized leaves (cyathophylls) surrounding the cyathium. These give an overall floral appearance to the inflorescence. The actual flowers are inside the involucre. There are usually several extremely simplified male flowers – a single anther, filament and pedicel. In the centre there is generally a single female flower – a pedicel and a 3-part ovary, without any petals or sepals.


Acalypha chamaedrifolia - Red-hot Cat's Tail

Acalypha hispida - Chenille Plant

Acalypha 'Inferno' - Inferno Copperleaf

Acalypha wilkesiana - Copperleaf

Alchornea aquifolia - Native Holly

Alchornea ilicifolia (syn.) - Native Holly

Aleurites moluccanus - Candlenut

Chamaesyce atoto (syn.) - Miri-miri

Chamaesyce macgillivrayi - MacGillivray's Chamaesyce

Chamaesyce prostrata - Prostrate Sandmat

Codiaeum variegatum - Croton

Coelebogyne ilicifolia (syn.) - Native Holly

Croton magneticus - Magnetic Island Croton

Euphorbia atoto - Miri-miri

Euphorbia macgillivrayi (syn.) - MacGillivray's Chamaesyce

Euphorbia cyathophora - Painted Spurge

Euphorbia heterophylla - Milkweed

Euphorbia lactea - Mottled Spurge

Euphorbia leucocephala - Snowflake

Euphorbia milii - Crown of Thorns

Euphorbia prostrata (syn.) - Prostrate Sandmat

Euphorbia pulcherrima - Poinsettia

Euphorbia tannensis - Desert Spurge

Euphorbia tirucalli - Naked Lady

Euphorbia tithymaloides - Devil's Backbone

Excoecaria agallocha - Blind-your-eye Mangrove

Homalanthus nutans - Native Bleeding Heart

Homalanthus populifolius (alt.) - Native Bleeding Heart

Jatropha gossypiifolia - Bellyache Bush

Jatropha multifida - Jatropha Tree

Jatropha podagrica - Gout Plant

Macaranga involucrata var. mallotoides - Brown Macaranga

Macaranga tanarius - Macaranga

Mallotus discolor - Yellow Kamala

Mallotus philippensis - Red Kamala

Manihot esculenta - Cassava

Omalanthus nutans (alt.) - Native Bleeding Heart

Omalanthus populifolius (alt.) - Native Bleeding Heart

Pedilanthus tithymaloides (syn.) - Devil's Backbone

Ricinus communis - Castor Oil Plant


Photograph by Frank Vincentz via Wikimedia Commons

Page last updated 31st January 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

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