Sunday, September 30, 2012

Plant Watch: Portland Spurge

Here's Euphorbia portlandica, Portland Spurge. It's a relatively common, coastal plant found on sand dunes around the country, while being less common on the west coast.

Tending to grow low across a dunes, the red stems are a diagnostic feature.

It's a species in the genus Euphorbia, which contains 1603 species and  belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. The plants bloom from June to August (this photo was taken in late August at Cullenstown, Co. Wexford).

The flowers are aranged as cymes - a more or less flat-topped flower-cluster. Don't confuse it with sea spurge (Euphorbia paralias) which is taller, with larger, less yellow flowers. The bracts of Portland Spurge (those modified leaves associated with the flower) are "ace of spades" shape with a tiny point at the end.


  © Communicate Science; Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2012

Back to TOP