White-margin Sandmat
Rattlesnake Weed

Chamaesyce albomarginata

Watercolor © by Michael Plagens

Watercolor from live specimen.

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Euphorbia albomarginata © by Michael Plagens

15 km south of Aguila, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 19 March 2017.

ANNUAL/PERENNIAL: Grows prostrate - slithering on the ground like a rattlesnake. Robust plants can be more than 30cm across.
Euphorbia albomarginata © by Michael Plagens
LEAVES: The leaves are opposite on the stems. The leaf margins are smooth. White latex-sap emerges from breaks in tissue.

RANGE: Common on rocky slopes and along desert washes in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and ranging up to 2000+ m elevation.

FLOWERS: Minute flowers are borne in groups within an involucre. What appears to be petals are petal-like glands borne on the rim of the involucre. Flowers appear by mid spring and can be found through Nov. depending on rainfall.

UNARMED: No thorns, but the milky sap can be a skin/eye irritant.

FRUIT: Small capsules, about 2.5 mm, are smooth, three-parted and each contains usually three seeds. These seeds inside require high magnification to see their smooth surface.

Euphorbiaceae -- Spurge Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 26 Nov. 2007
updated 30 April 2017.