Page author: David Giblin
Euphorbia peplus
petty spurge

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades in Washington; widely distributed throughout much of North America except central U.S.

Habitat: Weed of disturbed ground.

Flowers: May-November

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous annual, the stem erect, freely branched, 1-3 dm. tall.


Lower leaves alternate, 1-3 cm. long, rhombic-ovate to rhombic-obovate, narrowed abruptly to very slender petioles 3-10 mm. long; floral leaves opposite, short-petiolate, broadly ovate, 10-25 mm. long.


Inflorescence of cymes terminal on the branches; flowers tiny, monoecious, borne in involucres; staminate flowers numerous, naked, each consisting of a single stamen; pistillate flower single and terminal in the involucre; involucres 1-1.5 mm. long, bearing 4 glands with long, slender horns.


Capsule smooth, 2.5 mm. long, separating into three 1-seeded segments.

Accepted Name:
Euphorbia peplus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 456. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Euphorbia peplus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Euphorbia peplus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Euphorbia peplus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Euphorbia peplus photos.

USDA Plants: Euphorbia peplus information.

19 photographs:
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