Euphorbiaceae Euphorbia brachycera

Euphorbia brachycera

Euphorbia brachycera

Family: Euphorbiaceae – Spurge Family

Long-lived perennial herbs from a taproot; stems 4” to 1.5' (10 to 45 cm) tall

Leaves: alternate; simple; entire; 0.28” to 1.12” (7 to 28 mm) long, 0.12” to 1” (3 to 25 mm) wide

Flowers: umbel of flowers; 3 to 8 yellowish rays; cyathium 0.08” to 0.12” (2 to 3 mm) high, 0.04” to 0.08” (1 to 2 mm) wide, 4 glands; monoecious flowers borne in involucres called cyathia (involucre of fused bracts forming a cup enclosing unisexual flowers, most 5 lobed and bearing 1 to 4 glands around the margin, each gland often with a white or colored petaloid appendage); female (pistillate) flowers solitary in the center of the cyathium lacking petals and sepals; ovary 3-loculed; 3 styles; male (staminate) flowers without petals or sepals, grouped in 5 clusters

Pollinators: other Euphorbia species are pollinated by insects

Fruits: capsule

Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June

Habitat in Arches National Park: hanging garden, desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: outside Arches National Park near Corona Arch

Other: 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 species name, “brachycera” means “short-horned”.

The sap contains a latex.

The poinsettia is Euphorbia pulcherrima.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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