Nice, Weed Diagnostician, Department of Botany & Plant Pathology,
Flowering spurge (Euphorbia corollata L.)
can be found in several counties in the state of Indiana. It tends to
be found in dry soils. This specimen was found growing in
sandy soils in Northern Indiana. It is a native perennial
that can grow up to 3 feet tall. Stems are usually
unbranched until the top where they do branch in an umbrella- or
spoke-like pattern. Leaves are sessile (attached at the stem
without petioles), linear, oblong or oblong-spatulate, 0.8 to 1.6
inches long. Lower leaves are alternate, but are whorled
where the stem branches. Flowers are loosely clustered on
branched portion of plant and 0.25 to almost 0.5 inches wide. Flowers
have five white petal-like structures with green centers and can
bloom most the summer long.
Like many spurges, these plants are considered
contain a white latex sap that when the plant
is damaged will exude from the plant. This sap can irritate the skin, eyes and
digestive tract causing stomach upset and diarrhea if ingested. The
toxic substances are phorbol esters.
Flowering spurge is not typically
considered a weed. In
the case where I was introduced to flowering spurge it was a little
troublesome because it was in fairly high numbers in an area that
was to be converted into a pasture. Control of flowering
spurge is not a common issue so information regarding its control
1. N. Britton and A. Brown. 1970. “An
Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada.” Vol.
II. Second ed. Dover Publications, INC. New York. p
2. J.W. McCain, R.J. Goetz and T.N. Jordan. 1985. “Indiana
Plants Poisonous to Livestock and Pets.” Cooperative
Extension Service, Purdue University. WS-9. p 77.
3. Plants Poisonous to Livestock. Euphorbia spp. Cornell