66. Euphorbia peplus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 456. 1753.
南欧大戟 nan ou da ji
Esula peplus (Linnaeus) Haworth; Tithymalus peplus (Linnaeus) Gaertner.
Herbs, ephemeral, erect or ascending, 10-30 cm tall. Taproot 1-2 mm thick. Stems single or branched near base, ca. 2 mm thick, ascending. Leaves alternate, mostly uniform in size; stipules absent; scale-leaves absent; petiole 1-3 mm or almost absent; leaf blade obovate to spoon-shaped, (0.5-)1.5-4 × (0.4-)0.7-1.8 cm, pale green, usually glabrous; base cuneate below, truncate or cordate above, margin entire [or finely serrulate above middle], apex rounded; midrib inconspicuous. Inflorescence a terminal pseudumbel, rays irregularly branched, lateral branches few; primary involucral leaves 3 or 4, similar to normal leaves; primary rays 3 or 4, short; cyathophylls 2, similar to normal leaves. Cyathium subsessile; involucre cuplike, ca. 1 × 1 mm, lobes rounded, ciliate; glands 4, yellow-green, crescent-shaped, apex 2-horned, horns ± threadlike. Male flowers many, usually not exserted from involucre. Female flower: ovary pedicel 2-3.5 mm, exserted from cup; ovary trigonous, smooth, glabrous; styles free; style arms 2-lobed. Capsule oblong-ovoid, 3-lobed, 2-2.5 mm, smooth with 2 narrow wings along each keel, glabrous. Seeds ovoid-angulate, 1.2-1.3 × 0.7-0.8 mm, gray or gray-white, each surface with 2 or 3 micropores; caruncle present, peltate, yellow-white, sessile. Fl. and fr. Feb-Oct.
Weed of disturbed areas, roadsides, gardens, grasslands. Fujian (Fuzhou, Xiamen), Guangxi (Nanning), Hong Kong, Taiwan (Taibei, Taizhong), Yunnan (Kunming) [N Africa, America, S Europe, Pacific islands].