(spurges; family Euphorbiaceae)
A genus of plants that have a very distinctive, compound inflorescence of tiny flowers without perianths grouped in umbel-like cymes; several male flowers, each with 1 stamen, are grouped within an involucre, and the single female flower consists of a stalked 3-celled ovary. The fruit is an explosive capsule. In temperate Europe most are herbs with leafy stems. In the tropics, especially in Africa, many are trees or shrubs, often stem succulents and cactus-like, but differing from cacti in their latex and twinned spines. All produce an acrid, milky juice. Euphorbia is a large genus, with about 1600 species, found in most temperate and tropical regions.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.