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Hall's shrubby-spurge

Tetracoccus hallii
(T. fasciculatum)

Jatropha cardiophylla pen & ink by Michael Plagens

Sketched from a live specimen observed in the Castle Dome Mountains, Yuma Co., Arizona. 23 Feb. 1992. At upper left, a twig with groups of male flowers is shown; to its right is a female twig, each inflorescence has one small flower.

SHRUB: A sparse, intricately branched, woody shrub 1 to 2 meters tall.

LEAVES: Small, spatulate leaves in fascicled clusters along stem. After drought or cold, leaves may be quite red in color. Unlike other spurges, the sap is clear, not milky.

RANGE: This plant is found along washes in the far western portions of the Sonoran Desert. Other species of Tetracoccus are found in California.

FRUIT: Dry three-parted capsule about a centimeter in diameter.

Photo of Tetracoccus hallii with numerous flowers © by Michael J. Plagens

Close-up view T. hallii twig bearing numerous flowers. Observed at Cottonwood Springs Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA. 1 May 2010. Notice in the photo at the bottom, near center, a small egg is suspended on a fine hair-stalk. This belongs to a lacewing.

FLOWERS: Male and female flowers are both small and without petals and are borne in separate inflorescences. The male inflorescence has several minute flowers each with one stamen. The female flowers are usually solitary.

ARMED. Twig ends are spinescent, but not particularily sharp.

Euphorbiaceae -- Spurge Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010