37. Euphorbia helioscopia L., Sp. Pl. 459. 1753. Boiss. in DC.,Prodr. 15(2): 136. 1862; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind., 5: 262. 1887; Prokh. in Fl. URSS 14: 383. 1949; Rech. f. & Schiman-Czeika in Fl. Iran. 6: 24.1964; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 449. 1972.
An erect sparingly pilose to glabrescent bright green fleshy annual herb up to 50 cm tall, but more commonly 10-30 cm tall. Stem-leaves alternate, shortly petiolate, the petioles 1-2 mm long; leaf-blades obovate-spathulate, 1-3 (-4.5) x 0.5-1.5 (-2) cm, obtuse, rounded or retuse at the apex, tapered to the base, serrulate towards the apex, otherwise entire, readily deciduous, leaving scars. Pseudumbel flat, 5-rayed, the rays trifid then once or twice bind, usually without axillary rays below the pseudumbel; pseudumbel-leaves 5, whorled, similar to the upper stem-leaves but often slightly larger; ray-leaves whorled in 3’s or opposite, the lower obliquely obovate to elliptic-ovate and asymmetric at the base, comparable to the upper stem-leaves in size, the upper ± suborbicular and progressively smaller. Cyathia very shortly pedunculate to subsessile. Glands transversely ovate, greenish. Fruit roundly triobate with deep grooves and subglobose cocci, 2.5-3 x 2.5-3.5 mm, ± smooth, glabrous, pale green. Styles spreading, recurved, united at the base, 0.75 mm long, bipartite, the stigmas slightly swollen. Seeds ovoid, 2 x 13 mm, strongly reticulate, dark brown, obtusely apiculate with a flat, adpressed, transversely ovate caruncle.
Fl. & Fr. Per.: Jan. - July.
Syntypes: Europe, specimen no. 630/49 in Hb. Linn. (LINN); Hort. Cliff. no. 14 (BM).
Distribution: More or less throughout Europe, N. Africa and Asia; introduced into N. America. Common or abundant in sandy fields or on wet sandy clay by irrigation canals; also on rocky slopes; 650'/200 m. - 6600'/2000 m.