The Euphorbia genus, or spurges proper, is the most important in our area, and its flowers are curious and distinctive. There are no sepals or petals, and what appear to be petals are really bracts, usually either 2 or 5 in number. In some individual flowers a stalked, nearly spherical pod protrudes from this cup of bracts. The flowers may be in umbels or clusters. The leaves are variable but may be whorled. The juice is milky.

Many spurges are poisonous, but useful products obtained from this family include rubber, tapioca, castor oil and tung oil. The poinsettia is a cultivated spurge.

Flower This family contains flowers.

Mercury, Three-Seeded Acalpha virginica
Purslane, Milk Euphorbia supina
Spurge, Cyprus/ Graveyard Weed Euphorbia cyparissias
Spurge, Flowering Euphorbia corollata
Spurge, Toothed Euphorbia dentata