Scientific Name: Euphorbia dentata

Common Name: toothed spurge

Other Common Names: wild poinsettia

Leaves: Leaves are lanceolate in outline, approximately 1/2 to 3 inches long, with toothed margins. Leaves are oppositely arranged, usually have hairs, and often have at least one dark red spot on the upper surface, especially with age. Lower leaves may sometimes be alternately arranged. Leaves at the ends of stems near the flowers often appear whorled.

Identifying Characteristics: Opposite, lanceolate leaves with dark red markings and milky sap emitted by all parts of the plant.Erect annual with lanceolate leaves that often have at least one dark red spot. All parts of the plant emit a milky sap when broken.

Flower Seed Head: Flowers occur in clusters at the ends of branches. Flowers are relatively inconspicuous and have no petals.

Seed Fruit: A capsule that is yellowish-green in color and smooth. Each capsule normally contains 3 seeds.

Where Found: Toothed spurge may reach 2 feet in height and is found from New York west to Arizona. Toothed spurge is primarily a weed of pastures, hayfields, roadsides, and other noncrop areas.

  • Life cycle: summer annual

  • Milky sap: Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Euphorbiaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate; opposite

  • Leaf shape: lance; oval

  • Leaf margin: serrated

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: white; yellow

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Flower symmetry: not symmetrical

  • Flower diameter: larger

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf