Spurges (Euphorbiaceae)

Euphorbia loricata
The native to South Africa Euphorbia loricata is commonly known as African Palm Tree.

What are spurges?

The spurge family is a plant family with the botanical name Euphorbiaceae.

These plants are called spurges because of their often milky sap, which can cause skin irritation.

Euphorbia trigona milky sap
The milky sap of Euphorbia trigona.

How many spurges are there?

The spurge family includes about 300 genera, which contain about 7500 species.

Where do spurges grow?

Spurges can be found almost all over the world. They have adapted to many habitats and colonize cool, hot, dry or swampy regions. There are also submerged or floating species.

Myrtle Spurge Euphorbia myrsinites
The Myrtle Spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) is a succulent perennial from the Mediterranean region.

What do spurges look like?

Many spurges are succulent. Some look like a cactus. Others grow arboreal, shrubby, climbing, as an evergreen or deciduous herbaceous plant.

Euphorbia pseudocactus
Euphorbia pseudocactus looks like a cactus.