Chrozophora tinctoria (L.) Andrews

Dyer's Litmus Plant

in A.Juss., Euphorb. Gen. 84 (1824) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Low herb to c. 50 cm high, grey-green, stellate-hairy. Leaves ovate to rhombic, mostly 2–5 cm long, 1–3 cm wide, apex obtuse, base cuneate, margins entire or toothed, with 2 raised glands at base on underside, sparsely stellate-hairy; petiole 1–7 cm long; stipules filiform, 1–2 mm long. Male flowers to c. 20, each subtended by a filiform bract 3–5 mm long; calyx and petals c. 4 mm long, calyx-teeth lanceolate; stamens usually 10 in 2 whorls, anthers linear, c. 1 mm long. Female flowers 1–4; peduncles short at first, elongating to 5–15 mm in fruit; calyx lobes narrow-triangular with filiform tips, c. 2 mm long, persistent in fruit. Capsule subglobose, 6–8 mm diam., tuberculate, more or less covered with peltate scales; seed ovoid, c. 4.5 mm long, c. 3.5 mm wide, tuberculate. Flowers summer and autumn.

*MuM, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, SA, NSW. Native to the Mediterranean. A weed of cultivation that has become established at a number of sites in the Horsham area.

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 Chrozophora
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Chrozophora tinctoria in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Chrozophora tinctoria in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales