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Euphorbia L., sensu lato

Herbs, shrubs, or trees, sometimes hysteranthous geophytes, monoecious, often succulent, cactus-like shrubs or trees, inermous or aculeate, with milky latex; stems well-developed or rarely as underground tuberous rootstock, the main stem developed or abortive and continues above the cotyledons by sympodial growth, branched or unbranched, angular or terete, glabrous or pubescent. Leaves alternate, opposite or whorled, sometimes minute, persistent or caducous, simple, often of 3 types, with lower stem leaves, median pseudoumbel leaves and upper ray leaves, sessile or petiolate, penninerved or palminerved; stipules small or absent. Inflorescence a cyathium, terminal or axillary, solitary or usually in cymes, corymbs, dichasium, pleiochasium, on short axillary microphyllous branches or umbellate, often with axillary rays below the umbels. Cyathia actinomorphic or sometimes zygomorphic, consisting of an involucral cup, enclosing unisexual flowers with the central solitary female floret surrounded by 4 or 5 fascicles of male florets, intermingled with bracteoles; involucral cup with 4 or 5 triangular or oblong variously toothed well-developed or obsolete lobes along the margin, alternating with 4 (- 10) glands which are rounded or oblong, with or without horns, or often the cyathia with 1 - 3 extrainvolucral cupular, saucer-shaped or discoid glands; glands often with 4 or 5 triangular or oblong, entire or laciniate, variously coloured or petaloid limbs. Male florets: monandrous, simulating a single stamen, with filament articulating on the pedicel, without calyx or corolla; anther subglobose, 2-locular, longitudinally or introrsely dehiscing; bracteoles single for each floret, usually a little longer than the pedicel. Female floret: solitary, central in the involucral cup or rarely undeveloped or abortive, the gynophore usually protruding out from the involucral cup by the combined pedicel and gynophore, bearing ovary at the apex, naked or often with 3 minute perianth lobes; ovary 3-locular, smooth, granulate or papillate, glabrous or pubescent; ovule one per locule, axile, anatropous; styles 3, free or connate, each divided or not; stigma often bifid. Fruits capsular, smooth or often warted, glabrous or hairy; endocarp woody or cartilaginous; central columella more or less persistent; seeds smooth, ridged, tuberculate or pitted, carunculate or not; testa thin, crustaceous; endosperm copious; cotyledons fleshy, broader than radicle.

Cosmopolitan, mainly in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the World, ca 1836 species; 84 species indigenous or naturalised and 3 species cultivated as garden plants in India.

Notes. The leaves subtending the primary branches (rays of pseudoumbels) of the umbel named here as pseudoumbel leaves and those subtending ultimate branches as ray leaves.

The integrity of the genus has long been questioned, and many 20th century workers favour subdividing this vast genus into two or more smaller genera. Hurusawa (J. Fac. Sci. Univ. Tokyo sect III, 6: 209 - 342. 1954) recognised 6 genera, viz. Arthrothamnus, Euphorbia, Poinsettia, Chamaesyce, Agaloma and Galarhoeus. Small (Fl. SE. U. S. 707. 1903), Croizat (Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 63: 525 - 531. 1936 & Webbia 20: 573 - 706. 1965), and G.L. Webster (J. Arnold Arb. 48: 420. 1967 & Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 81: 127. 1994) are in favour of keeping Chamaesyce as a separate genus, retaining the rest in Euphorbia. However, L.C. Wheeler (Contr. Gray Herb. Harvard. Univ. 127: 51. 1939; Rhodora 43: 110. 1941 & Amer. Midl. Nat. 30: 478. 1943), Khan (Notes Royal Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 25: 71 - 161. 1964), Smith (Fl. Pakistan 172: 1 - 176. 1986), S. Carter (Kew Bull. 40: 809 - 825. 1985 & 42: 673 - 681. 1987), etc. are in favour of treating Chamaesyce as one of the subgenera of Euphorbia L. The traditional conservative sensu lato treatment of the genus is preferred in this work. The main argument is that no useful purpose is achieved by splitting Euphorbia into a number of smaller genera (with the need for many new combinations), and the difficulty in clearly defining them.

Literature. BINOJKUMAR, M. S. & N. P. BALAKRISHNAN (2010). The genus Euphorbia L. (Euphorbiaceae) in India – A taxonomic revision. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun. OUDEJANS, R. C. H. M. (1989). World catalogue of species names published in the tribe Euphorbieae (Euphorbiaceae) with their geographical distribution. Oudejans, Utrecht. SANTAPAU. H. (1954). The genus Euphorbia in Bombay. Bull. Bot. Soc. Bengal 8: 1 – 17. THOMAS, Daisy (1986). Palynological studies of Euphorbiaceae. Ph. D. Thesis, University of Pune (unpublished).


1 a. Plants geophytes, with underground elongated fleshy tuberous rootstocks; stems not or scarcely developed above the ground; leaves all radical in rosettes at ground level, deciduous and leafless when in flower (hysteranthous) 9. Rhizanthium
b. Plants not geophytes, with no tuberous underground rootstocks; stems well-developed above the ground; leaves cauline, alternate, opposite or in whorls, per-sistent or caducous but never hysteranthous 2
2 a. Plants succulent, cactiform; leaves early caducous, fleshy, or often scale-like 3
b. Plants neither succulent nor cactiform; leaves persistent, usually not fleshy 6
3 a. Trees or shrub-like plants; stems and branches green, terete, without angles or tubercles, longitudinally finely striate; cyathia in clusters, terminal or at forks of branches, often unisexual 10. Tirucalli
b. Trees, or shrubs; stems and branches green or brown-green, succulent with spines on wings or angles; cyathia axillary, usually subterminal, simple cymes of diads ortriads, usually bisexual 4
4 a. Plants not spiny; branches flat, 2-winged; leaf scars usually present Subg. 3. Epiphylloides
b. Plants spiny; branched mostly terete, 3 – 5 angled or winged, rarely flat and 2- winged in E. vajravelui; leaf scars absent 5
5 a. Shrubs or trees; stems and branches terete or prominently angular or winged regularly branched with erect or ascending branches; leaves mostly scale-like, occasionally well-developed; podarium (spine-shield) present, horny, bearing spines inserted on grey or brown spine shields; cyathia subsessile to shortly peduncu late; involucral leaves inconspicuous, usually smaller than the cyathia, same color as inflorescence; gynophore generally long and keeping he ovary out of the involucre; seeds globose or ovoid, ecarunculate 6. Euphorbia
b. Stunted shrubs irregularly branched; stems terete or obscurely angled; leaves always welldeveloped; podarium (spine shield) absent; spines present; inflorescence long pedunculate; involucral leaves conspicuous, usually red, sometimes yellow or variously coloured; gynophore generally short, keeping the ovary inside the involucre; seeds cylindrical, obscurely 4-angled, carunculate 7. Lacanthis
6 a. Main stem of seedlings of restricted growth, soon abortive above the cotyledon, all subsequent growth by lateral branches; leaves opposite and inequilateral and oblique at base; veins of leaves with chlorenchyma sheaths; stipules always present, interpetiolar, scarious; seeds usually not carunculate 2. Chamaesyce
b. Main stem of unrestricted growth, not abortive above the cotyledon; leaves alternate, opposite or whorled, if opposite then symmetric and not inequilateral at base; veins of leaves without chlorenchyma sheaths; stipules usually absent or rarely present, if present then never interpetiolar; seeds carunculate or ecarunculate 7
7 a. Cyathia always in terminal clusters; cyathial glands one or rarely 3 - 4, extra-involucral 8. Poinsettia
b. Cyathia axillary or terminal, 1 - 3, never in clusters; cyathial glands 4, rarely 5, in between the involucral lobes 8
8 a. Stipules absent; leaves always of 3 types, cauline leaves, pseudoumbel leaves and ray leaves; flowering branches in whorls; cyathia always in pseudoumbels; cyathial glands falcate or with horns 5. Esula
b. Stipules present; leaves of single type or rarely of 2 types; flowering branches notin whorls; cyathia never in pseudoumbels; glands never falcate, without horns 9
9 a. Shrubs; all leaves or floral leaves alone pink or white; stipules absent; cyathial glands with petaloid limbs 1. Agaloma
b. Herbs or undershrubs; all leaves of a single type and completely green; stipules subulate, minute, often caducous; cyathial glands without petaloid limbs 4. Eremophyton


1 a. Plants geophytic, with stems and branches tuberous, normally not developed above the ground; leaves in rosettes at the ground level 2
b. Plants not geophytic, with stems and branches not tuberous, well developed above the ground level; leaves distributed along the stems and branches 4
2 a. Rootstock less than 8 cm long, irregularly shaped and sometimes several tubers clustered together or branched; primary peduncles 4 - 6, ca 3 cm or less long; styles connate at base or up to the middle; stigmas bifid at apex 82. Euphorbia nana
b. Rootstock more than 10 cm long, regularly fusiform, not clustered or rarely branched; primary peduncles 1 - 3, 5 cm or more long; styles free from the base 3
3 a. Leaves entire along margins, entirely green or pale yellowish green, very rarely with purplish tinge, never mottled; cyathial peduncles usually long, up to 4.5 cm long; involucral bracts ovate-lanceolate, obtuse at apex; seeds ovoid or oblongoid 80. Euphorbia fusiformis
b. Leaves thickened and crispate along margins, variegated, deep green or purplish green and mottled with dense red or purple patches; cyathial peduncles short, up to 5 mm long; involucral bracts triangular, acute-mucronate at apex; seeds globose 81. Euphorbia meenae
4 a. Plants succulent; leaves early caducous 5
b. Plants not succulent; leaves persistent 21
5 a. Plants not spiny 6
b. Plants spiny 8
6 a. Branches flat; cyathia along the margins of the flat winged branches 33. Euphorbia epiphylloides
b. Branches terete; cyathia at the forks and tips of the branches 7
7 a. Trees with woody main stems; cyathia early caducous; ovary hirsute; styles connate up to middle 84. Euphorbia tirucalli
b. Herbs or bushy subshrubs; cyathia persistent; ovary sparsely hairy or glabrous; styles free from base 83. Euphorbia mauritanica
8 a. Spine-shield absent; bracts brightly coloured, larger than the involucre 76. Euphorbia milii
b. Spine-shields present; bracts pale coloured, smaller than the involucre 9
9 a. Branches terete; spine shields rounded 10
b. Branches winged; spine shields conical 11
10 a. Shrubs, bushy with branching from base, usually less than 2 m high; spines ca 5 mm long; leaves ovate or oblong-ovate, undulate along margins, 2 – 6 x 1 – 3 cm; primary peduncles several in fascicles 64. Euphorbia caducifolia
b. Trees, stems solitary from base, branching towards the top only, usually more than 2 m high; spines ca 1 cm long; leaves long spathulate, oblong-obovate to oblanceolate, flat along margins, 6 – 12 x 2 – 4 cm; primary peduncles solitary or paired 69. Euphorbia nivulia
11 a. Branches crowded at apex; area between the wings flat 12
b. Branches not crowded at apex (except in E. lactea); area between the wings not flat, shallowly curved 13
12 a. Branches usually 4-winged, rarely 3- or 5-winged; leaves less than 1 cm long; seeds subglobose, ca 2.5 x 2 mm 72. Euphorbia susan-holmesiae
b. Branches usually 5-winged, rarely 6- or 7-winged; leaves more than 4 cm long; seeds globose, ca 3 mm in diam. 70. Euphorbia royleana
13 a. Branches spirally twisted; capsules always acutely keeled 14
b. Branches straight; capsules obtusely keeled (except in E. cattimandoo) 15
14 a. Branches 3-winged; leaves less than 1 cm long; primary peduncles always in fascicles 73. Euphorbia tortilis
b. Branches 5-winged; leaves more than 4 cm long; primary peduncles never in fascicles 68. Euphorbia neriifolia
15 a. Branches more than 5-winged; cyathia always solitary 71. Euphorbia santapaui
b. Branches 5-winged or less than 5-winged; cyathia in diads or triads 16
16 a. Leaves petiolate, acute-acuminate at apex; gynophore more than 1 cm long 65. Euphorbia cattimandoo
b. Leaves sessile or subsessile, obtuse or acute at apex; gynophore less than 1 cm long 17
17 a. Trees; leaves less than 1 cm long, early deciduous; podarium less than 1 cm long 18
b. Shrubs; leaves more than 2 cm long, persistent; podarium more than 1 cm long 20
18 a. Ultimate branches 2-winged, lower branches 4- or 5-winged; primary peduncles less than 1 cm long 75. Euphorbia vajravelui
b. All branches 3-winged; primary peduncles more than 1 cm long 19
19 a. Branches crowded at apex; marbled white-coloured between the wings; flowers and fruits usually not developing 67. Euphorbia lactea
b. Branches spreading; not marbled white-coloured between the wings; flowers and fruits developing in every season 63. Euphorbia antiquorum
20 a. Branches ascending and straight upwards, marbled white-coloured between the wings 74. Euphorbia trigona
b. Branches curving and drooping downwards, not marbled white-coloured between the wings 66. Euphorbia lacei
21 a. Stipules usually present, interpetiolar; involucral glands with petaloid limbs, though often very small or minute 22
b. Stipules absent or if present never interpetiolar; involucral glands without petaloid limbs 53
22 a. Main stem well developed; exotic cultivated ornamental plants 23
b. Main stem aborted above the cotyledons; indigenous plants 24
23 a. Leaves ovate, 2 - 5 x 1 - 4 cm, glabrous, red, later becoming dark green; floral leaves pink; limbs of glands orbicular, laciniate; seeds ovoid, ca 2.5 x 2 mm 1. Euphorbia cotinifolia
b. Leaves elliptic to elliptic-oblong, 2.5 - 7 x 0.7 - 2 cm, sparsely hairy, green, later becoming red; floral leaves white; limbs of glands oblong to oblong-lanceolate, entire; seeds quadrangular, ca 5 x 2 mm 2. Euphorbia leucocephala
24 a. Subshrubs or shrubs; stems stout; stipules always broadly sheathing; plants of coastal regions only 25. Euphorbia pallens
b. Herbs; stems slender; stipules triangular, linear or rarely sheathing; plants of inland regions 25
25 a. Roots or at least root primordia present at all nodes; leaves retuse at apex; stipules connate 31. Euphorbia serpens
b. Roots or root primordia not present at all nodes; leaves rounded, obtuse, subacuteor acute at apex; stipules free 26
26 a. Leaves of main stems distinctly larger than those elsewhere 27
b. Leaves of stems and braches almost equal in size 29
27 a. Plants densely hispid-villous hairy; seeds 6 - 8-striate or irregularly rugulose 12. Euphorbia granulata
b. Plants glabrous or sparsely hairy; seeds 2 - 4-striate or smooth 28
28 a. Plants prostrate or decumbent; stipules cleft into 2 or 3 lobes, each further laciniate; limbs of glands of same size as the glands 4. Euphorbia clarkeana
b. Plants erect; stipules usually not cleft into 2 or 3 lobes, deeply laciniate; limbs of glands larger than the glands 19. Euphorbia jodhpurensis
29 a. Limbs of glands indistinct or of same size as the glands 30
b. Limbs of glands distinct and a little to much larger than the glands 35
30 a. Plants prostrate, only branches or tips of branches decumbent; cyathia solitary, paired or 3 together 31
b. Plants erect, decumbent or ascending; cyathia more than 3 in glomerules 33
31 a. Stems and branches pinkish grey; mature capsules remaining within the involucre 32. Euphorbia thymifolia
b. Stems, branches and leaves green, glaucous-green, purplish green or blackish green; mature capsules protruding out from the involucre 32
32 a. Stems, branches and leaves blackish or purplish green; capsules acutely keeled, with ciliate hairs confined to keels only 26. Euphorbia prostrata
b. Stems, branches and leaves green to glaucous-green; capsules obtusely keeled, glabrous or sparsely hairy all over the surface 13. Euphorbia heyneana
33 a. Plants glabrous; leaves linear-lanceolate, 3 - 6 mm wide, glabrous to sparsely pilose 17. Euphorbia hyssopifolia
b. Plants hispid hairy; leaves ovate, oblong-ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, more than 6 mm wide, appressed pubescent 34
34 a. Plants with patent yellowish hairs, mixed with white crisped hairs; internodes ribbed; leaves often with a purple or pink patch in the middle; seeds transversely 3 - 4-furrowed 14. Euphorbia hirta
b. Plants with appressed flexuous or crispate white hairs; internodes terete, not ribbed; leaves without any such patch in the middle; seeds smooth or obscurely 1- 2-furrowed 18. Euphorbia indica
35 a. Leaves obliquely obovate or linear-spathulate; 2 upper limbs of glands distinctly larger than the 2 lower limbs 28. Euphorbia rosea
b. Leaves neither obliquely obovate nor linear-spathulate; limbs of glands equal in size 36
36 a. Cyathia many in each cluster 37
b. Cyathia solitary, 2 or 3 in each cluster 38
37 a. Plants erect; rootstock slender, wiry; stems shiny tan to reddish brown, limbs of glands entire; seeds wrinkled 16. Euphorbia hypericifolia
b. Plants decumbent or ascending; rootstock thick, woody; stems green or glaucousgreen; limbs of glands wavy; seeds smooth 7. Euphorbia corrigioloides
38 a. Floral leaves imbricate and concealing the cyathia 39
b. Floral leaves neither imbricate nor concealing the cyathia 42
39 a. Plants glabrous; limbs of glands almost entire 27. Euphorbia pycnostegia
b. Plants hairy; limbs of glands laciniate or sinuate 40
40 a. Rootstock woody; stems unbranched or once dichotomously branched; limbs of glands glabrous 21. Euphorbia laciniata
b. Rootstock wiry; stems branched many times; limbs of glands hairy 41
41 a. Leaves hairy on both surfaces; limbs of glands laciniate 8. Euphorbia cristata
b. Leaves glabrous on upper surface, hairy on lower surface; limbs of glands sinuate 10. Euphorbia elegans
42 a. Stems prostrate, less than 10 cm long 5. Euphorbia coccinea
b. Stems decumbent, ascending or erect, more than 10 cm long 43
43 a. Leaves often with a purple patch at middle; seeds smooth 3. Euphorbia balakrishnanii
b. Leaves without purple patch at middle; seeds scrobiculate, obscurely or clearly furrowed or rarely smooth 44
44 a. Leaves ovate to suborbicular; internodes ribbed 22. Euphorbia lawsonii
b. Leaves elliptic, oblong-elliptic or oblong; internodes terete, smooth (except in E. hispida) 45
45 a. Branches 3 - 6 from each node; capsules acutely keeled, hairy only along keels 29. Euphorbia sebastinei
b. Branches 1 - 2 from each node; capsules obtusely keeled, glabrous or hairy all over, not only on keels 46
46 a. Plants clothed with long hairs; seeds scrobiculate 15. Euphorbia hispida
b. Plants glabrous or rarely pubescent; seeds obscurely or distinctly furrowed 47
47 a. Plants unbranched or rarely dichotomously branched; leaves at least 3 cm long 20. Euphorbia katrajensis
b. Plants branched; leaves less than 3 cm long 48
48 a. Plants more than 30 cm high; leaves silvery white below 11. Euphorbia erythroclada
b. Plants less than 30 cm high; leaves green or pale green below 49
49 a. Branches filiform towards apex; styles more than 1.5 mm long 50
b. Branches not filiform; styles less than 1.5 mm long 51
50 a. Branches puberulous; limbs of glands multifid-pectinate up to base; cocci with distinct veins 23. Euphorbia longistyla
b. Branches not puberulous; limbs of glands entire, minutely sinuate; cocci with obscure veins 30. Euphorbia senguptae
51 a. Leaves mucronate at apex; cocci of capsules with 2 or 3 prominent wings 24. Euphorbia notoptera
b. Leaves subacute or acute at apex; cocci of fruits ridged or keeled, but not winged 52
52 a. Leaves oblong to ovate-oblong, subacute to obtuse or rounded at apex, 5 - 11 mm long; capsules prominently broadly and obtusely keeled, distinctly ridged along sutures 6. Euphorbia concanensis
b. Leaves oblong-lanceolate, acute to subacute at apex, 10 - 25 mm long; capsules faintly narrowly and acutely keeled, not ridged along sutures 9. Euphorbia deccanensis
53 a. Leaves usually of 3 types; cyathia always arranged in pseudoumbels 54
b. Leaves usually of 1 type, rarely 2 types; cyathia never in pseudoumbels 81
54 a. Stem leaves opposite-decussate; capsules indehiscent; seeds more than 5 mm across 45. Euphorbia lathyris
b. Stem leaves alternate; capsules dehiscent; seeds less than 5 mm across 55
55 a. Ray leaves usually opposite; glands with horns 56
b. Ray leaves usually ternate; glands without horns 67
56 a. Ray leaves connate at base; glands distinctly wavy-undulate at apex 53. Euphorbia perbracteata
b. Ray leaves free; glands entire or slightly denticulate at apex 57
57 a. All leaves almost equal in shape and size 39. Euphorbia dracunculoides
b. Stem leaves, pseudoumbel leaves and ray leaves differing in shape and sizes 58
58 a. Leaves of stems petiolate; capsules acutely keeled, with 2 parallel dorsal wings on the ridges of the keels 52. Euphorbia peplus
b. Leaves of stems sessile; capsules obtusely keeled, without wings 59
59 a. Leaves obovate-spathulate to oblanceolate; horns longer than the width of the glands 47. Euphorbia maddenii
b. Leaves neither obovate-spathulate nor oblanceolate; horns usually not longer than the width of the glands 60
60 a. Leaves coriaceous; nerves distinct; branches profuse; involucre cupular 54. Euphorbia prolifera
b. Leaves chartaceous; nerves usually obscure; branches not profuse; involucre campanulate 61
61 a. Ray leaves cuspidate to aristate at apex; horns minute or indistinct 40. Euphorbia falcata
b. Ray leaves acute to retuse at apex; horns always distinct 62
62 a. Plants decumbent or ascending; rootstock wiry; stem leaves retuse or emarginate at apex 43. Euphorbia kanaorica
b. Plants usually erect; rootstock not wiry; stem leaves neither retuse nor emarginate at apex 63
63 a. Stems woody, dark brown, with prominent leaf scars; leaves usually crowded below the pseudoumbels 55. Euphorbia rothiana
b. Stems herbaceous, grey, with obscure leaf scars; leaves not crowded below pseudoumbels 64
64 a. Ray leaves ovate-deltoid; axillary rays many below the pseudoumbels 60. Euphorbia thyrsoidea
b. Ray leaves triangular or orbicular-reniform; axillary rays absent or few below the pseudoumbels 65
65 a. Glands trapezoidal, pectinate-lacerate; caruncle petasiform 49. Euphorbia osyridea
b. Glands neither trapezoidal, nor pectinate-lacerate; caruncle not petasiform 66
66 a. Stems ribbed; rays 2 - 3 times dichotomous; seeds ovate-orbicular, later with rostrate appendages 35. Euphorbia boissieriana
b. Stems terete; rays once dichotomous; seeds ovate, smooth 50. Euphorbia pamirica
67 a. Plants ascending or decumbent, less than 20 cm high 68
b. Plants erect, more than 20 cm high (except in E. luteoviridis) 72
68 a. Pseudoumbel leaves much larger than upper stem leaves; cyathia saucer-shaped 61. Euphorbia tibetica
b. Pseudoumbel leaves and upper stem leaves almost equal; cyathia campanulate 69
69 a. Ray leaves opposite; capsules more than 5 mm across 59. Euphorbia thomsoniana
b. Ray leaves ternate; capsules less than 5 mm across 70
70 a. Leaves oblong-elliptic to obliquely oblong; capsules densely warty 48. Euphorbia micractina
b. Leaves neither oblong nor obliquely oblong; capsules smooth or minutely granulate 71
71 a. Leaves petiolate; ray leaves reniform; styles free from base 56. Euphorbia sharmae
b. Leaves sessile; ray leaves obovate; styles connate to the middle 58. Euphorbia stracheyi
72 a. Leaves spathulate to obovate-spathulate; cocci with prominent veins 41. Euphorbia helioscopia
b. Leaves other than spathulate or obovate-spathulate; cocci with obscure veins or not veined 73
73 a. Axillary rays on main stems absent; pseudoumbel rays less than 2 cm long 42. Euphorbia jacquemontii
b. Axillary rays on main stems present; pseudoumbel rays usually more than 2 cm long 74
74 a. Leaves obtuse at apex; capsules densely warty 37. Euphorbia cornigera
b. Leaves acute-apiculate at apex; capsules smooth or sparsely warty 75
75 a. Plants annual; glands peltate; capsules purple 51. Euphorbia peltata
b. Plants perennial; glands not peltate; capsules yellow 76
76 a. Leaves ovate to elliptic, rounded at base; styles usually less than 2 mm long 77
b. Leaves linear to oblanceolate or elliptic-lanceolate, cuneate or attenuate at base;styles usually more than 2 mm long 78
77 a. Rootstock thick; scale leaves present; branches villous, glands 5 46. Euphorbia luteoviridis
b. Rootstock slender; scale leaves absent; branches glabrous; glands 4 36. Euphorbia cashmeriana
78 a. Leaves usually more than 3 cm broad, puberulous on upper surface or at least on midrib; cyathia ca 6 x 10 mm 62. Euphorbia wallichii
b. Leaves less than 2.5 cm broad, quite glabrous on upper surface; cyathia less thanca 5 x 6 mm 79
79 a. Leaves petiolate; ovary smooth 57. Euphorbia sikkimensis
b. Leaves sessile or subsessile; ovary papillate 80
80 a. Leaves less than 5 cm long; ray leaves obovate, subrhomboid; styles free from base 44. Euphorbia khasyana
b. Leaves more than 5 cm long; ray leaves ovate; styles connate up to middle 38. Euphorbia donii
81 a. Leaves often with gland-tipped marginal teeth; involucral glands 4 or 5 at the rim of the involucre; seeds carunculate 34. Euphorbia agowensis
b. Leaves without gland-tipped marginal teeth; involucral glands solitary or rarely 4 or 5, external to the involucre; seeds ecarunculate 82
82 a. Shrubs or trees; upper leaves completely coloured; cyathia more than 6 mm long;gynophore long protruding from involucre; seeds ca 10 x 8 mm, smooth (cult.) 79. Euphorbia pulcherrima
b. Herbs; upper leaves green or partially coloured; cyathia less than 5 mm long; gynophore least protruding from involucre; seeds ca 5 mm across, sculptured 83
83 a. Floral leaves green or rarely purple-spotted at base; involucral glands with a circular mouth; seeds angular, bluntly tuberculate 78. Euphorbia heterophylla
b. Floral leaves red or purple for nearly half towards base; involucral glands with elliptic-oblong mouth; seeds oblong-ovoid, sharply tuberculate 77. Euphorbia cyathophora

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