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Euphorbia corollata (Flowering spurge)
Cressler, Alan

Euphorbia corollata

Euphorbia corollata L.

Flowering Spurge

Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)

Synonym(s): Euphorbia corollata var. angustifolia, Euphorbia marilandica, Tithymalopsis corollata, Tithymalopsis marilandica, Tithymalopsis olivacea

USDA Symbol: euco10

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

One or more bright green stems grow erect to 3 ft. A whorl of smooth, bright green leaves surrounds the stem at the point where 3-7 flowering stalks branch off. Minute flowers surrounded by 5 white, round, petal-like bracts attached to rim of a cup, all in a few- to much-branched, open cluster atop each stem; sap milky. Each flowering stalk branches again above another whorl of smaller leaves. Flowering stalks are topped by small, white flowers in a large, loose, long-lasting, flat-topped clusters.

The often colored, petal-like bracts are typical of some spurges, as are the stems with milky juice; the flower-like cup-structure (cyathium) is a distinguishing feature of spurges. The common name spurge comes from the Latin expurgare ("to purge"). Snow-on-the-mountain (E. marginata), native to the Midwest, has upper leaves with white edges.


From the Image Gallery

31 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: NY to s.e. MN & s.e. SD, s. to FL, TX, w. OK & e. KS
Native Habitat: Rocky prairies; open woodlands; fields; roadsides; waste places

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry to mesic soils.
Conditions Comments: The milky juice in the stem can cause blisters on sensitive skin.


Warning: Flowering Spurge has been used as a laxative, but large doses can be poisonous. Members of this genus are known to fatally poison cattle. Contact with plant, especially its milky sap, can cause irritation of skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Minor skin irritatation if touched, low toxicity if ingested. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea when ingested. Redness, swelling, blisters after some delay following contact with skin. Toxic Principle: Diterpene esters in milky latex. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Propagation Material: Clump Division , Root Cuttings , Seeds
Description: Best propagated by seed sown unstratified in fall or stratified in spring. Easy to divide in spring or fall or to propagate by root cuttings.
Seed Collection: Collect in early Sep. before the seedhead explodes.
Seed Treatment: Moist stratification
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Euphorbia corollata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Euphorbia corollata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Euphorbia corollata


Record Modified: 2023-02-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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