Euphorbia helioscopia L.

Sun Spurge

Sp. Pl. 459 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Erect or ascending annual herb to c. 50 cm high, with a few fine spreading hairs on upper parts; stems 1–few, each with 3–5 terminal fertile branches which are further branched. Cauline leaves shortly petiolate, alternate, obovate-spathulate, 1–4 cm long, 8–25 mm wide, apex obtuse, margins serrate in upper half; leaves on fertile branches similar to cauline leaves but mostly smaller, verticillate, usually finely hairy above and below. Cyathia solitary in upper forks or 1–3 terminal; peduncles to c. 0.5 mm long; involucre campanulate, 1.5–2 mm long; glands ellipsoid, c. 0.5 mm long, lacking appendages; female flowers with styles erect and truncate. Capsule cordate, c. 2 mm long, 2–3 mm wide, ridged, smooth, glabrous; seeds ovoid, 1.5–2 mm long, reticulate-rugulose, brown, caruncle reniform, fleshy, yellow. Flowers mostly Jul.–Oct.

*DunT, *GipP, *HSF, *OtP, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW, Tas., New Zealand, North America. Native to Europe and Asia. An occasional weed of roadsides, wasteland and other disturbed sites, but apparently not seriously invasive.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Euphorbiaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-06-18
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Malpighiales
family Euphorbiaceae
genus Euphorbia
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Euphorbia helioscopia in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Euphorbia helioscopia in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present introduced
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory