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Euphorbia tannensis subsp. eremophila

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Botanical Name

Euphorbia tannensis subsp. eremophila (A.Cunn.) D.C.Hassall

Hassall, D.C. (1977) Australian Journal of Botany 25: 439. Type: ?.

Synonyms

Euphorbia tannensis var. eremophila (Cunn.) D.C.Hassall, Australian Journal of Botany 25: 439(1977), Type: ?. Euphorbia eremophloia A.Cunn., Tropical Australia: 348(1848), Type: Western Australia, Dirk Hartogs Island, 1822, A. Cunningham 222; holo: K.

Common name

Desert Spurge

Stem

Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub 1-1.5 m tall but also flowers when smaller.

Leaves

Stems, petioles and leaves produce copious amounts of white exudate when cut or broken. Leaf blades linear, about 2.5-5.5 x 0.2-0.3 cm, margin toothed, more prominently towards the apex. Petioles about 0.2-0.4 cm long, channelled on the upper surface. Lateral veins difficult to distinguish.

Flowers

Tepals small, interspersed with four large glands. Stamens +/- arranged in 3 or 4 whorls of five with the innermost whorl maturing first. Anthers interspersed with numerous plumose hairs, filaments jointed. Ovary borne on a stalk about as long as the perianth. Style branches three, each with a bilobed stigma.

Fruit

Fruits 3-lobed, about 4-5 mm long, stigmas persistent at the apex. Seeds 2.5-4 mm long, testa rough, covered with a thin white or translucent aril. Embryo about 2-2.5 mm long, cotyledons about as long as the radicle but much wider.

Seedlings

Cotyledons oblong, about 9-10 x 3 mm, bluish-green in colour. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves long and narrow, leaf blade about 35-37 x 4 mm. Stem green, entire seedling glabrous.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and southwards as far as south-western New South Wales. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from 300-700 m. Commonly grows in open forest but also found in vine thickets and monsoon forest.

Natural History

This species may be poisonous. (http://www.fda.gov/)

WA

X

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)

X

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)

X

RFK Code

3495