Flowering Spurge

Euphorbia corollata

Flowering Spurge
Flowering Spurge

Look at these dainty white flowers suspended in a loose cluster like Baby’s Breath!  What looks like a 5-petalled flower is actually not–the white structures you see are really bracts. There are super-tiny flowers cradled within these bracts that are nearly impossible to see!

The leaves of Flowering Spurge
The alternate leaves of Flowering Spurge

You might first recognize the leaves of flowering spurge as being like a garden-variety Euphorbia. The leaves are simple, entire, elongated ovals that are arranged alternately on the lower stem. Further up the plant, a whorl of similar leaves announces the start of the branched, flowering stems.

If you choose to pick Flowering Spurge for a wildflower arrangement (you can, it is quite prevalent locally), the plant quickly releases a sticky milk (latex) that can irritate your skin and eyes. So be careful with it! And if you choose to consume it, be warned again of its poisonous nature: as a medicinal plant it is famous for its effectiveness in causing “the trots”. In fact, alternate common names  for this native wildflower include Go Quick and Purging Root! 🙂

Flowering Spurge grows up to 3 feet in height and can be found growing in open fields (prairie habitat) and along roadsides all along the east coast of the U.S.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Anne J. Campbell says:

    The stem rather looks like milk weed.

  2. Jean says:

    Gloria, again you have helped me identify a plant I have been watching for a while now. Thank you for your beautiful pictures and the information you supply along with them. Because of you, I was inspired enough to take several basic botany online courses so that I’d be familiar with the terminology and what to look for when trying to learn about the plants. What wonderful doors you’ve opened for me. I can’t thank you enough.

    1. Gloria says:

      Wow, that’s so sweet, Jean! Thanks for your kind words! I’m still learning myself…self-taught botany is a big undertaking! Glad you are enjoying it!

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