Learn how and when to remove this template message Like all members of the family Euphorbiaceae, spurges have unisexual flowers. In Euphorbia, flowers occur in a head, called the cyathium plural cyathia. Each male or female flower in the cyathium head has only its essential sexual part, in males the stamen , and in females the pistil. The flowers do not have sepals , petals , or nectar to attract pollinators, although other nonflower parts of the plant have an appearance and nectar glands with similar roles.
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Learn how and when to remove this template message Like all members of the family Euphorbiaceae, spurges have unisexual flowers. In Euphorbia, flowers occur in a head, called the cyathium plural cyathia. Each male or female flower in the cyathium head has only its essential sexual part, in males the stamen , and in females the pistil.
The flowers do not have sepals , petals , or nectar to attract pollinators, although other nonflower parts of the plant have an appearance and nectar glands with similar roles.
Euphorbias are the only plants known to have this kind of flower head. The "involucre" in the genus Euphorbia is not to be confused with the "involucre" in family Asteraceae members, which is a collection of bracts called phyllaries , which surround and encase the unopened flower head, then support the receptacle under it after the flower head opens.
The cyathophyll often has a superficial appearance of being petals of a flower. Euphorbia flowers are tiny, and the variation attracting different pollinators and the human eye , with different forms and colors occurs, in the cyathium, involucre, cyathophyll, or additional parts such as glands that attached to these. The collection of many flowers may be shaped and arranged to appear collectively as a single individual flower, sometimes called a pseudanthium in the Asteraceae, and also in Euphorbia.
The majority of species are monoecious bearing male and female flowers on the same plant , although some are dioecious with male and female flowers occurring on different plants. It is not unusual for the central cyathia of a cyme to be purely male, and for lateral cyathia to carry both sexes. Sometimes, young plants or those growing under unfavorable conditions are male only, and only produce female flowers in the cyathia with maturity or as growing conditions improve.
The seeds are four-angled, oval, or spherical, and some species have a caruncle. Sometimes, it is difficult to decide, and is a question of interpretation, whether or not a species is really succulent or "only" xerophytic. In some cases, especially with geophytes , plants closely related to the succulents are normal herbs. About species are succulent in the strictest sense. Irritants[ edit ] The milky sap of spurges called "latex" evolved as a deterrent to herbivores.
It is white, and transparent when dry, except in E. The pressurized sap seeps from the slightest wound and congeals after a few minutes in air. The skin-irritating and caustic effects are largely caused by varying amounts of diterpenes. Triterpenes such as betulin and corresponding esters are other major components of the latex. Therefore, spurges should be handled with caution and kept away from children and pets.
Latex on skin should be washed off immediately and thoroughly. Congealed latex is insoluble in water, but can be removed with an emulsifier such as milk or soap. A physician should be consulted if inflammation occurs, as severe eye damage including permanent blindness may result from exposure to the sap. Precautions, including sufficient ventilation, are required. Detail of poinsettia flowers and immature fruits An old Euphorbia hybrid Euphorbia obesa Several spurges are grown as garden plants, among them poinsettia E.
Several Euphorbia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera butterflies and moths , like the spurge hawk-moths Hyles euphorbiae and Hyles tithymali , as well as the giant leopard moth.
Ingenol mebutate , a drug used to treat actinic keratosis , is a diterpenoid found in Euphorbia peplus. Euphorbias are often used as hedging plants in many parts of Africa. This testing supports inclusion of formerly other genera as being best placed in this single genus, including Chamaesyce , Monadenium , Pedilanthus , and poinsettia E.
Genetic tests have shown that similar flower head structures or forms within the genus, might not mean close ancestry within the genus. The genetic data show that within the genus, convergent evolution of inflorescence structures may be from ancestral subunits that are not related.
So using morphology within the genus becomes problematic for further subgeneric grouping. As stated on the Euphorbia Planetary Biodiversity Inventory project webpage:  Previous morphologically based delimitations of subgenera or sections within the genus should not be taken at face value.
The genus is in fact rife with striking examples of morphological convergence in cyathial and vegetative features, which justifies a global approach to studying the genus to obtain a proper phylogenetic understanding of the whole group The bottom line is that a number of clades have been placed inside or outside of Euphorbia at different times According to a publication on studies of DNA sequence data,    most of the smaller "satellite genera" around the huge genus Euphorbia nest deep within the latter.
Consequently, these taxa , namely the never generally accepted genus Chamaesyce, as well as the smaller genera Cubanthus ,  Elaeophorbia, Endadenium, Monadenium, Synadenium, and Pedilanthus were transferred to Euphorbia. The entire subtribe Euphorbiinae now consists solely of the genus Euphorbia.
Euphorbia Antiquorum Herb Uses, Benefits, Cures, Side Effects, Nutrients
A significant number are succulent, all contain latex and have a unique flower structure. Although it is present in many traditional medicinal systems, nearly all possess poison or toxicity. Botany Euphorbia antiquorum is a succulent woody shrub growing 1 to 3 meters high with milky sap. Mature stem is cylindrical in shape with 3 to 6 ridges; younger branches green with 3 to 5 ridges; the projection of the ridges are armed with a pair of 2- to 3-millimeter long spines. Leaves are few, borne on the ridges, succulent, obovate to oblanceolate to spathulate in shape. Apex is obtuse with a small pointed projection, base gradually narrowing downward, sessile. Male flower possess only 1 stamen, filament short; female flower situated alone at the center of the cyathium, protruding beyond the involucre.
India Biodiversity Portal
Syn: Euphorbia antiquorum var. Stamens numerous. Capsules nearly1 cm in diameter; cocci compressed, glabrous; style 2 -fid. Succulent shrub, often planted in gardens and rockeries. The woody spiny species of Euphorbia can be separated as under: Stem rounded, not angled or winged I suspect this to be a different species owing to the colour of flowers.