Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Glade Spurge - Euphorbia purpurea   (Rafinesque) Fernald
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Section 6 » Order Euphorbiales » Family Euphorbiaceae
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Author(Rafinesque) Fernald
DistributionMountains only; not yet recorded from downstate.

NJ to OH, south to NC and northern GA.
AbundanceRare to very uncommon. The NCNHP database lists 33 records, but surprisingly 31 of them are still extant. Interestingly ,when RAB (1968) was published, it had been collected from just 3 counties! There is no reason to think it has strongly increased in recent decades; perhaps more exploration of its high pH soils have been a factor. This is a Significantly Rare species.
HabitatMoist or rich soils of slope forests, bottomland forests, margins of mafic or calcareous outcrops, margins of seeps. Prefers higher pH soils.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May-September.
IdentificationGlade Spurge is our tallest native Euphorbia species, 1-3.5 feet tall. Stem leaves are lance-shaped with rounded tips, and smooth-margined; leaves at the base of the inflorescence branches are much broader, even rotund, and often purple-tinged. From several upper stem nodes (usually at a whorl of leaves) are a handful of long ascending stalks that bear the flowers at the tips, each one surrounded by a leafy "cup" or "hood". This normally robust and stately herb can hardly be confused with any other of our spurges, especially as it grows in such rich or moist soils in circumneutral soil, mainly in the middle elevations of the mountains.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Purple Spurge, Darlington Spurge
State RankS3
Global RankG3
State StatusSR-T
US Status
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