Euphorbia hirta L.

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Euphorbia hirta

Picture: Bart Wursten
Chithora River, rd to Himalayas

Euphorbia hirta

Picture: Bart Wursten
Chithora River, rd to Himalayas

Euphorbia hirta

Picture: Bart Wursten
Camp site, Chirinda Forest

Euphorbia hirta

Picture: Bart Wursten
Old cottages at Katiyo Tea Estate

Euphorbia hirta

Picture: Petra Ballings
Shaneragh rd, Mandara, Harare

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Chamaesyce hirta (L.) Millsp.
Euphorbia pilulifera sensu Boiss.
Common names:
Frequency: Common
Status: Introduced
Prostrate or ascending annual herb with branches up to 50 cm. A parts of the plant covered in short appressed hairs, interspersed with longer spreading hairs. Leaves ovate, 1-4 cm, often blotched with purple, particularly in the centre; margin finely toothed. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, spherical, 10-15 mm in diameter. Flowers unisexual, whitish, tinged with purple.
Type location:
Notes: One of the omnipresent, widespread and common weeds.
Derivation of specific name: hirta: hairy.
Habitat: A weed of roadsides, cultivation and disturbed areas.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native to tropical and subtropical America, now a pantropical weed.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,W,C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,N,E,S,W
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Achaea catella (Larval food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 70 - 71. (Includes a picture).

Carter, S. & Leach, L.C. (2001). Euphorbiaceae: subfamily Euphorbioideae: tribe Euphorbieae Flora Zambesiaca 9(5) Pages 345 - 346.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 56.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 126. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 41.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 48.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 56. as Chamaesyce hirta

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 207.

Vernon, R. (1983). Field Guide to Important Arable Weeds of Zambia Dept. of Agriculture, Chilanga, Zambia Pages 44 - 45. (Includes a picture).

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 46. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Euphorbia hirta:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Euphorbia hirta
Flora of Caprivi: Euphorbia hirta
Flora of Malawi: Euphorbia hirta
Flora of Mozambique: Euphorbia hirta
Flora of Zimbabwe: Euphorbia hirta

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Euphorbia hirta
African Plant Database: Euphorbia hirta
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Euphorbia hirta
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Euphorbia hirta
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Euphorbia hirta
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Euphorbia hirta
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Euphorbia hirta
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Euphorbia hirta
iNaturalist: Euphorbia hirta
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Euphorbia hirta
JSTOR Plant Science: Euphorbia hirta
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Euphorbia hirta
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Euphorbia hirta
Plants of the World Online: Euphorbia hirta
Tropicos: Euphorbia hirta
Wikipedia: Euphorbia hirta

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-21

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2021). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Euphorbia hirta., retrieved 20 October 2021

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