Flowering Spurge

Euphorbia corollata


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Photograph taken near the Fish Hatchery In Pisgah NF in late June '99.

Spurge Family (Euphorbiaceae)

Spurge leaves are thick and oblong, generally in a whorled pattern, though scattered nearer to the ground. It has a milky sap. Grows 1-3 feet tall.

May to September

Seems to prefer rich moist woods and meadows, even some swampy areas. Also likes that disturbed soil, so there's a good chance of finding it by a roadside.

Its internal milky sap that can cause dermititus or blistering if contacted by the sensitive or too frequently. It's related to other milkweeds.

The books i read about it say that the flowers in the center aren't really flowers. One book reads: "What appear to be flowers are actually greenish-yellow involucral glands subtended by white petal-like appendages." Well now! Wouldn't we all like to be subtended by white petal-like appendages! I guess a spurge by any other name...

I used to think the name 'spurge' came from, or was similar to 'scourge'. As if this cute little plant, because of it's milky vascularity and weedy prevalance was unwanted. But i learn that the name comes from the same source as (ex)purge, probably because this plant's roots, in small steeped doses has been used as a strong laxative.

Other uses indians seemed to have for this plant are a root tea for pinworms and rheumatism. I guess because it causes blisters and thus 'draws up' the blood, a poultice from the root was also used on snakebites.


My observations about this plant can be found at:


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