Euphorbia hirta
(Chamaesyce hirta)

Euphorbia hirta photo © by Michael Plagens

This is a very close-up of a diminutive plant growing prostrate on a paved area. Nairobi, Kenya, Africa. April 2011. The leaves are barely a centimeter long.

sandmat spurge in Nairobi, Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Chamaesyce is often lumped into the genus Euphorbia and in this way an obscure plant, often trampled under foot, is a close relative of Euphorbia trees reaching massive proportions. The spurge plants are best appreciated under substantial magnification. In the photo at left dense glomerules of flower heads contain many dozens of glomerules of still smaller male and female flowers. Female flowers give rise to the seeds which are born in three-lobed capsules, just like the majority of euphorbs. The small heads of flowers have reddish glands that bare white or pink appendages that look like petals. Chamaesyce plants usually grow very close to the soil forming prostrate mats.

Euphorbiaceae -- Spurge Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 23 July 2011,
updated 3 Oct. 2017.