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Euphorbia stricta is an annual herb with a milky latex, widespread throughout Europe but uncommon in the UK except in a small area around Gloucester. Because of this it is sometimes known as Tintern spurge. It may also be found listed under the name Euphorbia serrulata. The plant is cultivated only occasionally, but spreads rapidly.

Euphorbia stricta (upright spurge)

[KSP]

Kew Species Profiles

General Description
The upright spurge is an annual herb, widespread throughout Europe but uncommon in the UK where it is found mainly in a small area around Gloucester.

Euphorbia stricta is an annual herb with a milky latex, widespread throughout Europe but uncommon in the UK except in a small area around Gloucester. Because of this it is sometimes known as Tintern spurge. It may also be found listed under the name Euphorbia serrulata. The plant is cultivated only occasionally, but spreads rapidly.

Species Profile
Geography and distribution

The upright spurge is found throughout southern Europe, reaching as far north as the southern parts of UK, The Netherlands and Poland and as far east as the Caucasus. It also has become naturalised in New Zealand.

Description

Overview:  Euphorbia stricta is an annual herb growing to 1 m, always glabrous. Stems are often reddish with typically four to five axillary rays in the upper part.

Leaves:  Leaves are oblong-lanceolate, finely toothed and subsessile.

Flowers:  Flowers are in small groups consisting of a solitary female and several males surrounded by nectar-gland bearing involucral bracts which form a cup. The male flower consists of a single naked stamen on its own pedicel (so that it looks like a jointed filament). The female flower consists of a trilocular (3-valved) naked ovary, on a pedicel which usually elongates in fruit.

Fruits:  The fruit is a 3-lobed dehiscent capsule, up to 2.5 mm in diameter and is covered in cylindrical warts or tubercles. The seeds are smooth and reddish-brown.

Uses

Can be grown as an ornamental herbaceous perennial or rock garden plant.

Ecology
Roadsides, beside streams and ditches, in moist grassy areas, amongst rocks in limestone and sandstone areas. From sea level to 1200 m.
Conservation
Independently assessed as of Least Concern (LC) according to IUCN criteria.
Hazards

Latex may severely irritate the skin causing acute dermatitis, and is poisonous if consumed. Contact with the eyes should be avoided. Seeds may have drastic purgative action.

[KSP]
Use
Ornamental.

Native to:

Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Corse, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Krym, Netherlands, North Caucasus, Poland, Romania, Sicilia, Switzerland, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Ukraine, Yugoslavia

Introduced into:

New Zealand North, New Zealand South

English
Upright spurge

Euphorbia stricta L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Cope, T.A. [RBG 398], Great Britain Euphorbia serrulata K000914256
Cope, T.A. [RBG 496], Great Britain Euphorbia serrulata K000914259
Cope, T.A. [RBG 22], Great Britain Euphorbia serrulata K000914254
Cope, T.A. [RBG 22], Great Britain Euphorbia serrulata K000914255
Cope, T.A. [RBG 426], Great Britain Euphorbia serrulata K000914257
Cope, T.A. [RBG 463], Great Britain Euphorbia serrulata K000914258

First published in Syst. Nat. ed. 10, 2: 1049 (1759)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R., Frodin, D.G. & Radcliffe-Smith, A. (2000). World Checklist and Bibliography of Euphorbiaceae (and Pandaceae) 1-4: 1-1622. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Pahlevani, A.H. & Riina, R. (2014). Synopsis of Euphorbia subgen. Esula sect. Helioscopia (Euphorbiaceae) in Iran with the description of Euphorbia mazandaranica sp. nov. Nordic Journal of Botany 32: 257-278.
  • Takhtajan, A.L. (ed.) (2012). Takhtajan, A.L. (ed.) Konspekt Flora Kavkaza 3(2): 1-623. Editio Universitatis Petropolitanae.
  • Webb, C.J., Sykes, W.R & Garnock-Jones, P.J. (1988). Flora of New Zealand 4: 1-1365. R.E.Owen, Government Printer, Wellington.

Literature

Kew Species Profiles

  • Govaerts, R., Radcliffe-Smith, A., Hoffmann, P., Barker, C., Carter, S., Davies,S., Esser, H.-J., Gilbert, M., Steinmann, V., van Welzen, P. & Whitmore, T. (2009). World Checklist of Malpighiales. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Huxley, A., Griffiths, M. & Levy, M. (eds) (1992). The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening, 4 vols. Macmillan, London.
  • Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project; Natural History Museum, London.

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Takhtajan, A.L. (ed.) (2012). Takhtajan, A.L. (ed.) Konspekt Flora Kavkaza 3(2): 1-623. Editio Universitatis Petropolitanae.
  • Webb, C.J., Sykes, W.R & Garnock-Jones, P.J. (1988). Flora of New Zealand 4: 1-1365. R.E.Owen, Government Printer, Wellington.

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Species Profiles
Kew Species Profiles
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0