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Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Euphorbia australis

Citation: Boiss., Cent. Euph. 15 (1860).

Synonymy: Chamaesyce australis (Boiss.)Hassall, Aust. J. Bot. 24:640 (1976).

Common name: Caustic weed, hairy caustic weed.

Small annuals or short-lived perennials forming at length woody branches basally and a woody tap root; stems much-branched, prostrate sometimes ascending, 5-30 cm long, usually green or reddish, distinctly villous more so distally; leaves opposite, subsessile, ovate-oblong to nearly orbicular, 4-8 mm long, obtuse, asymmetrical at the base, mostly serrate, green or tinted red all over or on margins only, villose on both sides, mostly crowded on flowering branches; stipules filiform, to 0.5 mm long, often with subulate lobes, red to white.

cyathia funnel-shaped, on short peduncles to 0.5 mm long, single and axillary, or 1 or 2 terminally on branchlets, usually crowded at the ends of the principal branches; involucre 1-1.5 mm long, villous, usually red; glands reniform, to 0.4 mm long; appendages peltate, c. 1 mm long, deeply fringed or deeply divided, petaloid, red, pink or white, rotate; styles ascending, divided to the base, red to white.

capsule ovoid, 3-lobed, c. 2 mm long, villous; seed quadrangular-ovate, 1.2-1.5 x 0.5-0.7 mm, slightly rugulose between the angles, white to pink.

image of FSA2_Euphorbia_aus.jpg Euphorbia australis habit, twig leaf, cyathium, gland, fruit and seed.
Image source: fig 401a in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Jessop (1981) Flora of central Australia fig. 210a; Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 455.

Distribution:  Sporadic in sandy and skeletal soils.

  W.Aust.; N.T.; Qld; N.S.W.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: May — Oct., rarely to Jan.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available

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