Euphorbia radians – Sun Spurge

Euphorbia radians - Sun Spurge (flowers)

Euphorbia radians - Sun Spurge

Euphorbia radians - Sun Spurge (flowers)

Euphorbia radians - Sun Spurge

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Euphorbia radians

Synonym: Poinsettia radians

Common Name: Sun Spurge

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Upland. This unusual wildflower grows in well-drained soil in dry, sunny, often disturbed or eroded areas in desert grasslands and in open oak, pinyon, and juniper woodlands.

Flower Color: Pink, White

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall, but usually much less

Description: The flower stalks emerge before the leafy shoots in the spring. The cuplike cyathia (false flowers) each contain both male flowers with yellow anthers and a central female flower. The cyathia are in clusters above petal-like, white or pink, spreading, linear-lanceolate bracts (floral leaves) of varying sizes at the tips of fleshy, erect, leafless, reddish green to reddish brown flower stalks. The female flowers are followed by larger, plump, hairless, 3-lobed, drooping, green, reddish, or dull purple seed capsules. The leaves are green, hairy or not, alternate, linear to linear-lanceolate in shape, and sessile or with short petioles. The multiple stems are herbaceous (die back at the end of the growing season), sparsely branched, sometimes hairy, and upright to decumbent. The roots are long, thick, and tuberous.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Euphorbiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae – Spurge family
Genus: Euphorbia L. – spurge
Species: Euphorbia radians Benth. – sun spurge

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map