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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 12 | Euphorbiaceae

3. Tragia brevispica Engelmann & A. Gray, Boston J. Nat. Hist. 5: 262. 1845.

Short-spike noseburn Short-spike noseburn

Tragia nepetifolia Cavanilles var. scutellariifolia (Scheele) Müller Arg.; T. nepetifolia var. teucriifolia (Scheele) Müller Arg.; T. scutellariifolia Scheele; T. teucriifolia Scheele

Herbs or vines, 2–12 dm. Stems decumbent, twining, or erect, light green, apex usually flexuous. Leaves: petiole 6–38 mm; blade triangular to cordate, 1.9–6 × 1.5–3.5 cm, base truncate to cordate, margins serrate to crenate, apex acute. Inflorescences terminal (often appearing leaf-opposed), glands absent, staminate flowers 2–8[–10] per raceme; staminate bracts 1–1.8 mm. Pedicels: staminate 0.7–2 mm, persistent base 0.4–1.5 mm; pistillate 2–4 mm in fruit. Staminate flowers: sepals 3–4[–5], green, 1–1.5 mm; stamens 3–4(–5), filaments 0.3–0.6 mm. Pistillate flowers: sepals ovate, 1.3–3.5 mm; styles connate 1/3 length; stigmas subpapillate to undulate. Capsules 6.5–7 mm wide, often 1 carpel maturing. Seeds dark brown, 2.5–3.8 mm. 2n = 44.

Flowering spring–fall; fruiting late summer–fall. Open forests, scrublands, disturbed roadsides, open fields, often on loam and clay soils; 10–500 m; La., Okla., Tex.; Mexico (Nuevo León).

The leaves of Tragia brevispica are highly variable and frequently resemble those of T. ramosa, which differs in having smooth stigmas and leaf blades much longer than wide. The presence of 1-carpellate fruit in T. brevispica is unique in Tragia in the flora area.


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