Euphorbiaceae Family:

Euphorbia trigona ‘Rubra’ (African Milk Tree) at 10 3/4″ tall (not including the leaves) on 8-17-21, #826-21.

Euphorbiaceae Juss.


The plant family Euphorbiaceae was named and described by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in Genera Plantarum in 1789.

As of 12-21-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 227 genera in this family. It is a very diverse family of perennials, trees, shrubs, and succulents commonly referred to as the Spurge Family. That number could change as updates are made on POWO.

The Wikipedia article states the Euphorbiaceae Family consists of about 7,500 species in 300 genera from 37 tribes divided into 3 subfamilies. It is the fifth-largest flowering plant family.

For more information about this family of plants, please click on the links below. The links take you directly to the information about the family. I have grown several members of this family and identified several wildflowers here. You can click on the plant name under the photo to go to their own pages.


Acalypha gracilens (Slender Three-Seeded Mercury) on 10-25-21, #852-2.

I found this Acalypha gracilens (Slender Three-Seeded Mercury) on October 10 in the main hayfield in 2021. I thought it was pretty neat with the coppery leaves and reddish flowers. During the summer the leaves are green. I had not seen this species before and I didn’t notice any in 2022. I looked while walking toward the back pasture where I saw the plants in 2011 during the summer when they would have just blended in. They are easy to spot when the leaves are a copper color. I intended to go back before a frost (the “F” word) but we were ZAPPED before I could make it. I need to find this species again so I can check the seeds. If there is only one, then then this species is Acalypha monococca (One-Seeded Mercury) instead of Acalypha gracilens. If there are three, it could also be Acalypha virginica (Virginia Three-Seeded Mercury). I have to look closely at the hairs on the stems because that is about the only way to tell them apart. Pettis County is way out of range according to the USDA Plants Database but the data is old and plants have a way of getting around. I just want to make sure…


Acalypha pendula (Chennile Plant) on 6-14-18, #459-1.

I have grown a few Acalypha pendula (Chenille Plant) and I always thought they were neat plants. The local greenhouses use them in hanging baskets and combination planters quite a lot since they are so popular. There are several cultivars available and a few other species are also used for the same purpose.


Croton capitatus (Wooly Croton, ETC., on 10-1-21, #838-2.

I always like seeing the Croton capitatus (Wooly Croton) when I am wildflower hunting or just walking through the farm. I friend of mine has A LOT of these in one of his pastures.


Croton glandulosus var. septentrionalis (Sand Croton) on 9-8-18, #504-23.

I found this Croton glandulosus var. septentrionalis (Sand Groton) in the main hayfield on the farm in 2018. I haven’t seen it since…


Euphorbia corollata (Flowering Spurge) on 8-7-19, #612-12.

I have experience with nine different Euphorbia highlighted on the page Euphorbia Species & Cultivars. When I am wildflower hunting I can usually tell when I have stumbled upon a member of the family although I may not recognize the species. Besides there being three species of native Euphorbia on the farm, I have grown six species of succulents in the genus. You can click on the link above to go to the Euphorbia page then click on the plant names to go to their own pages. Or, you can scroll down the list of names on the right…



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