Click on images to enlarge
habit (Photo: Trevor James)
habit (Photo: Trevor James)
stem leaves (Photo: Trevor James)
close-up of slightly hairy stem and leaf bases (Photo: Trevor James)
broken stem with milky sap (Photo: Trevor James)
close-up of leaf (Photo: Trevor James)
close-up of leaf underside (Photo: Trevor James)
close-up of seeds (Photo: Carole Ritchie at USDA PLANTS Database)
close-up of seedling (Photo: Trevor James)
Euphorbia helioscopia L.
cat's milk, madwoman's milk, sun euphorbia, sun spurge, umbrella milkweed, wart spurge, wart weed, wartgrass, wartweed
Native to Northern Africa (i.e. Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), the Azores, the Madeira Islands, the Canary Islands, Europe (i.e. Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Ukraine, western Russia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Yugoslavia, France, Portugal and Spain), western Asia, the Indian Sub-continent (i.e. northern India and western Pakistan), China, Vietnam, Japan, Korea and Taiwan).
This species is widely naturalised in the southern parts of Australia (i.e. in some parts of southern Queensland, in southern and eastern New South Wales, in southern and western Victoria, in Tasmania, in south-eastern and southern South Australia, and in the coastal districts of south-western Western Australia).
Also widely naturalised in many other parts of the world including the USA, Chile, New Zealand and New Caledonia.
Sun spurge (Euphorbia helioscopia) is regarded as an environmental weed in Western Australia. It is most common as a weed of cultivated areas, but also invades natural habitats and occasionally even conservation areas (e.g. Para Wirra Recreation Park in South Australia).
Note: This species is poisonous to humans and livestock and its milky sap can cause dermatitis and eye irritation.
Fact sheets are available from Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) service centres and our Customer Service Centre (telephone 13 25 23). Check our website at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au to ensure you have the latest version of this fact sheet. The control methods referred to in this fact sheet should be used in accordance with the restrictions (federal and state legislation, and local government laws) directly or indirectly related to each control method. These restrictions may prevent the use of one or more of the methods referred to, depending on individual circumstances. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, DEEDI does not invite reliance upon it, nor accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by actions based on it.
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