4498.000 Euphorbia L.


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

Description of the genus

Monoecious annual, biennial or perennial herbs, shrubs or trees, sometimes succulent. Milky latex present. Stipules usually present. Leaves mostly alternate, sometimes opposite or whorled. Inflorescence composed of cyathia in simple, dichotomous or umbellate terminal cymes; bracts paired, often leaf-like, sometimes brightly coloured. Cyathia with (1-)4-5(-8) glands around the rim alternating with 5 fringed lobes. Male flowers in 5 groups separated by fringed membranes, bracteolate. Female flower subsessile or with the pedicel elongating or reflexed in fruit. Ovary 3-locular. Styles 3, partly united. Fruit a dehiscent capsule, usually 3-lobed.

Derivation of name: for Euphorbus (1st century), Greek physician of Juba II, king of Mauritania.

Worldwide: c. 2,000 species, cosmopolitan, but more in warm areas.

Zimbabwe: 69 taxa.

Insects associated with this genus:
Zizeeria knysna (Sooty blue) Food plant
Euphorbia citrina

Links to taxa:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this genus

SpeciesFZ divisionsContent
acervata S. Carter[End][VU]N,CDescription, Image
benthamii HiernC,E,SDescription, Image
citrina S. Carter[NrEnd]EDescription, Image
confinalis R.A. Dyer subsp. confinalis [VU]EDescription, Image
confinalis R.A. Dyer subsp. rhodesiaca L.C. Leach[End][VU]W,SDescription, Image
cooperi N.E. Br. ex A. Berger var. cooperi N,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
cooperi N.E. Br. ex A. Berger var. calidicola L.C. Leach[LR-lc]N,WDescription, Image
crebrifolia S. Carter[NrEnd]EDescription, Image
crotonoides Boiss. subsp. crotonoides N,W,CDescription, Image
cyathophora MurrayN,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
cyparissioides PaxC,EDescription, Image
davyi N.E. Br.W,S
decidua P.R.O. Bally & L.C. Leach[EN]NDescription, Image
delicatissima S. Carter[End]N,CDescription
depauperata Hochst. ex A. Rich. var. depauperata EDescription, Image
depauperata Hochst. ex A. Rich. var. tsetserrensis S. Carter[NrEnd]EDescription, Image
dissitispina L.C. Leach[End][VU]SDescription
espinosa PaxN,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
exilis L.C. LeachN,W,C,E,S
eylesii RendleN,WDescription
fortissima L.C. Leach[NrEnd][VU]N,W
glanduligera PaxS
gossypina Pax subsp. mangulensis S. Carter[End][LR-nt]NDescription
gracillima S. CarterN,C
griseola Pax subsp. griseola [LR-lc]N,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
griseola Pax subsp. mashonica L.C. Leach[LR-lc]N,C,EDescription, Image
guerichiana Pax[LR-nt]W,S
halipedicola L.C. Leach[VU]EDescription, Image
heterophylla L.N,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
hirta L.N,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
inaequilatera Sond. var. inaequilatera N,W,C
indica Lam.N,C,EDescription, Image
ingens E. Mey. ex Boiss.N,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
karibensis S. Carter[End]N
kilwana N.E. Br.E
leucocephala LotsyCDescription, Image
limpopoana L.C. Leach ex S. CarterW,E,S
lividiflora L.C. Leach[VU]E,SDescription, Image
lupatensis N.E. Br.N,W,EDescription, Image
maleolens Phillips[EN]W
malevola L.C. Leach[LR-lc]N,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
matabelensis PaxN,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
memoralis R.A. Dyer[End][VU]N
milii Des Moul.CDescription, Image
monteiri Hook. f. subsp. monteiri W,E
mossambicensis (Klotzsch & Garcke) Boiss.N,W,SDescription, Image
neopolycnemoides Pax & K. Hoffm.W,E,SDescription, Image
oatesii RolfeN,W,CDescription, Image
peplus L.W,C,EDescription, Image
persistentifolia L.C. Leach[LR-lc]N,W,C
pfeilii PaxSDescription, Image
platycephala PaxN,WDescription, Image
prostrata AitonN,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
rowlandii R.A. Dyer[DD]S
rubriflora N.E. Br.WDescription, Image
rugosiflora L.C. Leach[NrEnd][VU]E
schimperiana Scheele var. schimperiana W,EDescription
schimperiana Scheele var. pubescens (N.E. Br.) S. CarterEDescription, Image
schimperiana Scheele var. velutina N.E. Br.EDescription
schinzii Pax[LR-lc]N,W,C,E,S
serpens KunthN,W,C,SDescription, Image
spissiflora S. CarterN,W,C
systyloides Pax subsp. porcaticapsa S. CarterN,S
tettensis KlotzschN,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
tirucalli L.N,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
tortistyla N.E. Br.[End]SDescription
transvaalensis Schltr.N,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
trichadenia Pax var. gibbsiae N.E. Br.[End][EN]N,W,C,E,SDescription, Image
wildii L.C. Leach[End][LR-nt]NDescription, Image

Other sources of information about Euphorbia:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Euphorbia
Flora of Botswana: cultivated Euphorbia
Flora of Caprivi: Euphorbia
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Euphorbia
Flora of Malawi: Euphorbia
Flora of Malawi: cultivated Euphorbia
Flora of Mozambique: Euphorbia
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Euphorbia
Flora of Zambia: Euphorbia
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Euphorbia
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Euphorbia

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Euphorbia
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Euphorbia
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Euphorbia
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Euphorbia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Euphorbia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Euphorbia
JSTOR Plant Science: Euphorbia
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Euphorbia
Plants of the World Online: Euphorbia
Tropicos: Euphorbia
Wikipedia: Euphorbia

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Genus page: Euphorbia.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/genus.php?genus_id=875, retrieved 25 May 2024

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