Euphorbia schizoloba – Mojave Spurge

Euphorbia schizoloba - Mojave Spurge (flowers)

Euphorbia schizoloba - Mojave Spurge

Euphorbia schizoloba - Mojave Spurge

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Euphorbia schizoloba

Synonyms: Euphorbia incisa, E. schizoloba var. mollis, Tithymalus incisa

Common Name: Mojave Spurge

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland, Mountain. This wildflower grows on dry, rocky or sandy slopes.

Flower Color: Yellow, Yellow-green to lime-green

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall

Description: The inflorescences each have multiple tiny male flowers that are usually in bunches of 5 and surrounded by 4 or 5, fringed, green to yellow, petal-like appendages with scalloped, crescent-shaped glands and a single, central, green, drooping, stalked female flower with a 3-lobed ovary and 3 bilobed styles. The flowers are followed by nodding, oblong, lobed seed capsules containing 3 seeds. The leaves have smooth, entire margins and are light green, sessile or very short-petioled, point-tipped, and either hairless or pubescent-hairy. The darker stem leaves are oblong and generally alternate, while the lighter floral leaves near the stem tips are paired opposite and broadly egg-shaped. The numerous stems are light green, ascending to erect, and either hairless or hairy.

Woodland Spurge (Euphorbia palmeri) is very similar to this species and its variety E. palmeri var. subpubens also has hairy leaves, but it has rounded to more broadly elliptical stem leaves. Other Euphorbia species like Horned Spurge (E. brachycera), Mountain Spurge (E. chamaesula), and Chinese Caps (E. crenulata) only have hairless leaves.


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 schizoloba Engelm. – Mojave spurge

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map