Painted spurge, dwarf poinsettia, milkweed, pretty spurge
Euphorbia cyathophora; Euphorbia heterophylla, Fam. Euphorbiaceae
Erect annual glabrous herbs, 60-120cm tall, milky sap.
Locally Declared Plants
Under the Local Law provision of the Local Government Act 1993, Local Government may declare a weed specifically for their Council area and enforce their control.
|Form or habit:||Herb|
Simple, alternate over most of stem, elliptic, ovate to obovate, 20-100 x 8-50mm, lowermost pairs and those in floral region opposite. In E. cyathophora the ‘leaves’ surrounding the flowers are red-based.
|Flower description:||Small mainly green or yellow, borne in terminal clusters. In E. cyathophora the floral ‘leaves’ surrounding the flowers are fiddle-shaped and red-based, similar to cultivated poinsettia. In E. heterophylla they are yellowish-green, never fiddle-shape and never with red.|
|Fruit description:||Fruits small capsules 3-4 x 4-6mm, separating into three segments to expel seeds. Seeds of E. cyathophora are dark brown ovoid and basally flattened, about 3mm long, warty but never ridged. Seeds of E. heterophylla differ by having 3 longitudinal ridges and being dark brownish or dark grey mottled.|
|Food source for:|
|Toxicity:||Toxic if ingested, irritant sap, toxic or irritant to domestic pets, toxic to native animals|
|Notes:||Spread by: seeds expelled explosively from opening capsules. Invades/threats: agriculture and grazing, disturbed sites, coastal communities. Notes: both species can occur in large colonies but milkweed (E. heterophylla) causes the most concern in this region. (In the past, painted spurge was mistakenly included with E. heterophylla). The latex is very toxic; consumption of the leaf and latex has been known to cause the death of a child.|
|Information sources:||Mackay Regional Pest Management Group (2018) Weeds of the Mackay Whitsunday Region Second Edition.|