Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Eastern Flowering Spurge - Euphorbia corollata   L.
Members of Euphorbiaceae:
Members of Euphorbia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Euphorbiales » Family Euphorbiaceae
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DistributionMountains, Piedmont, Sandhills, and western/southern Coastal Plain. No specimens east of Northampton, Greene, Duplin, and New Hanover counties.

NH to Ont., MN, and NE, south to northern GA and eastern TX.
AbundanceCommon to very common over its range in the state.
HabitatDry to mesic soils of woodlands and forests, along trails and logging roads, forest margins, roadbanks, powerline clearings.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-September.
IdentificationEastern Flowering Spurge is a very familiar species over most of the state, seen nearly daily in field work. It typically grows 1-2.5 feet tall, with alternate, narrowly elliptical to lance-shaped leaves that have blunt ends; they are typically dark green above and slightly leathery. Stems and leaves are smooth to somewhat hairy. The terminal, branched, flat-topped inflorescence is showy, due to the rounded to square white floral glands/appendages. Each flower is about 1/4-inch across. E. pubentissima, generally lumped with E. corollata in earlier references, is very similar but has shorter and less showy floral glands, stems no taller than 2 feet, and stems smooth to short-hairy; its leaves are usually reflexed (vs. ascending in E. corollata), and thin as opposed to thicker and leathery. This species has many more flowers than does E. pubentissima, as well -- being a showier plant in bloom than the other, with its fewer flowers and quite short white to pink floral appendages. This species blooms mainly from June - September, whereas E. pubentissima blooms mainly from March - July (Weakley (2018). See other details in the key in Weakley (2018); note that this other species is also reasonably common in the same range as E. corollata, and thus biologists need to become familiar with each, as they should see them often.
Taxonomic CommentsOlder references typically had E. pubentissima as a variety of this species, or completely subsumed within it. RAB (1968) listed this species as E. corollata var. corollata, and pubentissima as E. corollata var. zinniflora.

Other Common Name(s)Flowering Spurge is usually used, but as "Flowering Spurge" is part of the common name of E. pubentissima -- False Flowering Spurge -- it is best to use the common name chosen by Weakley (2020).
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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US Status
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B.A. SorriePiedmont, disturbed roadside, May 2021. MoorePhoto_natural

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