Euphorbia hirta L.

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Euphorbia hirta

Photo: Bart Wursten
Chithora River, rd to Himalayas

Euphorbia hirta

Photo: Bart Wursten
Chithora River, rd to Himalayas

Euphorbia hirta

Photo: Bart Wursten
Camp site, Chirinda Forest

Euphorbia hirta

Photo: Bart Wursten
Old cottages at Katiyo Tea Estate

Euphorbia hirta

Photo: Petra Ballings
Shaneragh rd, Mandara, Harare

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Chamaesyce hirta (L.) Millsp.
Euphorbia pilulifera sensu Boiss.
Common names:
Frequency: Common
Status: Introduced
Prostrate or ascending annual herb with branches up to 50 cm. A parts of the plant covered in short appressed hairs, interspersed with longer spreading hairs. Leaves ovate, 1-4 cm, often blotched with purple, particularly in the centre; margin finely toothed. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, spherical, 10-15 mm in diameter. Flowers unisexual, whitish, tinged with purple.
Notes: A widespread and common weed.
Derivation of specific name: hirta: hairy
Habitat: A weed of roadsides, cultivation and disturbed areas.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1550 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native to Central America; a pantropical weed
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Achaea catella (Larval food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 22 April 2007

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 70 - 71. (Includes a picture).

Carter, S. & Leach, L.C. (2001). Euphorbiaceae: subfamily Euphorbioideae: tribe Euphorbieae Flora Zambesiaca 9(5) Pages 345 - 346.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 126. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 56. as Chamaesyce hirta

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 207.

Wild, H. (undated, c. 1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds ?Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 46. (Includes a picture).


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Other sources of information about Euphorbia hirta:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Euphorbia hirta
Flora of Caprivi: Euphorbia hirta
Flora of Malawi: Euphorbia hirta
Flora of Mozambique: Euphorbia hirta
Flora of Zambia: Euphorbia hirta

External websites:

African Plant Database: Euphorbia hirta
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Euphorbia hirta
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Euphorbia hirta
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Euphorbia hirta
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Euphorbia hirta
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Euphorbia hirta
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Euphorbia hirta
Ispot Southern Africa : Euphorbia hirta
JSTOR Plant Science: Euphorbia hirta
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Euphorbia hirta
Tropicos: Euphorbia hirta
West African Plants database: Euphorbia hirta

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Euphorbia hirta., retrieved 20 October 2016

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