Euphorbia serpens Kunth

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Euphorbia serpens

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road above lake-filled open mine, Mt Buchwa

Euphorbia serpens

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road above lake-filled open mine, Mt Buchwa

Euphorbia serpens

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along road above lake-filled open mine, Mt Buchwa

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Synonyms: Chamaesyce serpens (Kunth) Small
Euphorbia minutiflora N.E. Br.
Common names: Creeping spurge (English) Matted sandmat (English)
Status: Introduced
Small, much-branched prostrate annual herb with hairless branches up to 20 cm long. Leaves opposite, broadly ovate to almost round, tiny, up to 4 mm long, cordate at the base; margin entire. Flowers terminal or on short axillary shoots, maroon-purple and white, sexes separate on the same plant. Fruit a 3-lobed capsule, c. 18 mm long, yellowish-green, exserted on a reflexed pedicel. Seeds smooth.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In disturbed areas, often near water.
Altitude range: Up to 1450 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native to North and South America, now a pantropical weed.
Malawi distribution: S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Carter, S. & Leach, L.C. (2001). Euphorbiaceae: subfamily Euphorbioideae: tribe Euphorbieae Flora Zambesiaca 9(5) Pages 356 - 357.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 41.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 56. as Chamaesyce serpens

Other sources of information about Euphorbia serpens:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Euphorbia serpens
Flora of Mozambique: Euphorbia serpens
Flora of Zimbabwe: Euphorbia serpens

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Euphorbia serpens
African Plant Database: Euphorbia serpens
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Euphorbia serpens
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Euphorbia serpens
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Euphorbia serpens
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Euphorbia serpens
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Euphorbia serpens
JSTOR Plant Science: Euphorbia serpens
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Euphorbia serpens
Plants of the World Online: Euphorbia serpens
Tropicos: Euphorbia serpens
Wikipedia: Euphorbia serpens

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Euphorbia serpens., retrieved 13 June 2024

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