Sun Spurge - Euphorbia helioscopia

    Description

    Short to medium, more or less hairless plant.  Stem usually solitary, erect.  Leaves oval, broadest above the middle, blunt, finely toothed in the upper half.  Umbel with 5 main rays and yellowish bracts, similar in shape to the leaves.  

    Similar Species

    Euphorbia peplus is a similar small spurge

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Leaves glabrous and obovate (widest towards the end not the stalk).  The cyathium (the cup-shaped structure that carries the male and female flowers) is rounded on the outer edge (not concave and with two points, as in E peplus).  The ovary and capsule are glabrous.

     

    Habitat

    Cultivated land, gardens, allotments, arable fields and waste ground.

    When to see it

    May to August.

    Life History

    Annual.

    UK Status

    Fairly common throughout Britain, but scarcer and more coastal in the north.

    VC55 Status

    Quite common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 367 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Alien (archaeophyte); occasional

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map