Ontario Weeds: Dentate spurge

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Flowers and Fruit
  7. Habitat
  8. Similar Species
  9. Related Links

Name: Dentate spurge, Euphorbia dentata Michx.,

Other Names: euphorbe dentée

Family: Spurge Family (Euphorbiaceae)

General Description: Annual, reproducing only by seed.

Photos and Pictures

Dentate spurge.

Dentate spurge. Top of plant in fruit.

Dentate spurge. Top of plant in fruit.

Stems & Roots: Stems erect, 20-120cm (8-48in.) high, with ascending branches, and roughened with short hairs; leaves mostly opposite, occasionally alternate, linear to ovate, hairy; their margins coarsely to shallowly dentate (toothed) to almost smooth;

Flowers & Fruit: Flowers individually tiny and borne in a complex cup-like structure called a cyathium, as described for Leafy spurge, the rim of the cyathium with 5 oblong, sharply dentate lobes and 1 (or more) short-stalked broad glands; seedpods 3-lobed and containing 3 seeds; the seeds ovoid, rough-tuberculate, 1-3mm (1/25-1/8in.). The entire plant, except its seeds, contains a white, milky juice. Flowers from July to September.

Habitat: Dentate spurge is found in dry soil in cultivated fields, roadsides, railway banks and waste places in southern Ontario.

Similar Species: It is distinguished from most other plants by the combination of mostly opposite, coarsely toothed leaves and milky juice throughout, and from other spurges by its stem leaves being almost always opposite and hairy on both sides, and the presence of usually only one gland on the involucre.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 01 June 2002
Last Reviewed: 01 November 2003