Synonym: Euphorbia fendleri
Family: Euphorbiaceae – Spurge Family
Perennial herbs; stems 2” to 8” (5 to 20 cm) long; lying flat on the ground
Leaves: opposite; simple; 0.12” to 0.44” (3 to 11 mm) long
Flowers: monoecious flowers borne in cyathia (involucre of fused bracts forming a cup enclosing unisexual flowers, most 5 lobed and bearing 4 glands around the margin, each gland often with a white or colored petaloid appendage); inflorescence of cyathia borne in the forks of the stem or in short axillary inflorescences, not in umbels; pistillate flower solitary in the center of the cyathium; 15 to 35 staminate flowers commonly grouped in 5 clusters and intermingled with small bractlets; staminate flowers are 0.08” to (2 to 2.5 mm) long; yellowish to maroon (each with a white appendage) cyathium 0.06” to 0.08” (1.5 to 2 mm) high, 4 glands; 25 to 35 stamens
Pollinators: other Euphorbia species are pollinated by insects
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June
Habitat in Arches National Park: hanging garden, desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: park road mile 0 to 2.5, hill behind visitor center, Park Avenue trail, park road mile 10
Other: The genus name, “Chamaesyce”, is an ancient Greek name for a kind of prostrate plant. The species name, “fendleri”, honors Augustus Wilhelm Fendler (1813-1883), a Prussian botanist who collected plant specimens in North America, Central America, South America, Prussia and Trinidad. Many of his American Southwest specimens were collected for botanist Asa Gray. The genus name, “Euphorbia”, is in honor of Euphorbus the Greek physician of Juba II, King of Mauretania. The word Euphorbus derives from “eu” which means "good" and “phorbe” which means "pasture or fodder," thus giving “euphorbos” the meaning "well fed".
The sap contains a latex.
The poinsettia is Euphorbia pulcherrima.
Last updated: February 24, 2015