New Mexico Wildflowers: Spurge Family



Flowers are organized alphabetically by genus and species. Hover over a photo series to control the images.


Texas Croton (Croton texensis)

My thanks to Phil Tonne (Museum of Southwest Biology, UNM) for providing the ID.


David's Spurge (Euphorbia davidii)

In New Mexico, Euphorbia includes several species with often narrow, slightly serrated pointed leaves. My ID is based in part on the clustering of leaves just below the flowers, in part on the mostly non-hairy three-lobed fruits. Another defining characteristic is a whitening of leaves at their bases, but in my experience that's not always the case.


E. dentata also has leaves that cluster near the flowers, but isn't supposed to occur in Albuquerque. E. exstipulata flowers include tiny white petal-like structures, which you don't see here.


Geyer's Sandmat (Euphorbia geyeri)


Sonoran Sandmat (Euphorbia micromera)

Also known as Chamaesyce  micromera, Sonoran Sandmat hugs the ground in a mat typical of spurges.


Prostrate Sandmat (Euphorbia prostrata)

Also known as Euphorbia chamaesyce. Note how fuzzy the fruits are.


Saw-Tooth Sandmat (Euphorbia serrula)

Also known as Chamaesyce serrula. Note the red splotches on the leaves, which have slightly toothed edges. The red stems also stand out.