Euphorbia maculata

Euphorbia maculata L. (syn.: E. supina Rafin., Chamaesyce maculata (L.) Small) (N-Am.) – A rare but increasingly naturalized alien. Formerly (prior to 1950) recorded as a weed in the botanical garden of Liège (see also Galera & Sudnik-Wójcikowska 2010) and elsewhere in or near plant nurseries. Known since 1994 from various locations in urban and suburban habitats: disused railway yards, cemeteries, cracks in pavement or parking places. Sometimes merely ephemeral but well-naturalized in climatologically favourable places, for instance on bare, gravelly soil in cemeteries. Verloove (2002) provides an overview of Belgian records that was updated by Verloove (2006). Additional, more recent records are available from numerous widely scattered localities: Châtillon, Ecaussinnes, Roeselare, Saint-Léger, Stockem, Veurne, Wevelgem, etc. (see also: Euphorbia maculata is also one of the commoner introductions in containers with imported olive trees in plant nurseries (Hoste & al. 2009).

Increasingly found in similar places in neighbouring countries and likely to become more widespread in a near future.

Euphorbia serpyllifolia Pers. (syn.: Chamaesyce serpyllifolia (Pers.) Small) is much reminiscent of E. maculata (prostrate habit, leaves blotched, etc.) but has glabrous capsules. It has been recorded in Switzerland (Röthlisberger 2007) and might pass unrecorded in Belgium as well.

Selected literature:

Andriessen L., Nagels C. & Lambinon J. (1997) n° 17163 Euphorbia maculata L. (= Chamaesyce maculata (L.) Small). Soc. Ech. Pl. Vasc. Eur. Bass. Médit., Bull. 26: 81.

Annaert L., Van Aerschot N. & Vanhecke L. (1997) Euphorbia maculata, een cactus-adventief? Dumortiera 68: 32-33.

Bathon H. (1996) Ein Vorkommen der Gefleckten Wolfsmilch, Euphorbia maculata L. 1753, in Südhessen. Hess. Florist. Briefe 45(4): 66-68.

Brennenstuhl G. (2012) Verwilderungen von Euphorbia myrsinites im Altmarkkreis Salzwedel (Sachsen-Anhalt). Florist. Rundbr. 45-46: 32-36.

Clement E.J. (1977) Adventive news: 7. More about Euphorbia maculata L. BSBI News 15: 12.

Crespo M.B. & Güemes J. (1991) Euphorbia maculata L. en la Provincia de Valencia y Otras consideraciones sobre las especies Valencianas del subgen. Chamaesyce Rafin. (Euphorbiaceae). Collect. Bot. 20: 243-245. [available online at:]

Eliáš P. (2009) First record of Euphorbia maculata L. (Euphorbiaceae) in Slovakia. Thaiszia 19: 21-25. [available online at:]

Fairbanks D.J. & Rytting B. (2002) Euphorbia maculata spotted. B.S.B.I. News 89: 32-33.

Feder J. (2009) Die Gefleckte Wolfsmilch Chamaesyce maculata (L.) Small im Bremer Gebiet. Bremer Botanische Briefe 4: 3-4.

Galera H. & Sudnik-Wójcikowska B. (2010) Central European botanic gardens as centres of dispersal of alien plants. Acta Soc. Bot. Polon. 79(2): 147-156. [available online at:]

Hillesheim-Kimmel U. (2008) Vorkommen von Chamaesyce maculata (L.) Small in einem kleinen Landschaftsteil Mittelhessens. Hessische Floristische Briefe 57(3/4): 55-57.

Hohla M. (1998) Euphorbia maculata L.: Die Flecken-Wolfsmilch jetzt auch im Innviertel. Beiträge zur Naturkunde Oberösterreichs 6: 303-307.

Hoste I., Verloove F., Nagels C., Andriessen L. & Lambinon J. (2009) De adventievenflora van in België ingevoerde mediterrane containerplanten. Dumortiera 97: 1-16.

Hügin G. (1997) Die Gattung Chamaesyce in Deutschland. Ber. Bayer. Bot. Ges. 68: 103-121.

Hügin G. (1998a) Die Gattung Chamaesyce in Europa. Feddes Repert. 109(3-4): 189-223.

Hügin G. (1999) Verbreitung und Ökologie der Gattung Chamaesyce in Mitteleuropa, Oberitalien und Südfrankreich. Feddes Repert. 110(3-4): 225-264.

Huguet P. (1971) Introduction à l'étude écologique des Euphorbes prostrées. Premiers relevés floristiques et édaphiques pour trois espèces de la flore française E. maculata L. E. jovetii Huguet, E. serpens Humb., Bonpl. et Kunth. Botaniste 54(1-6): 157-187.

Kim S., Park C.W., Kim Y.D. & Suh Y. (2002) Euphorbia maculata in v.c. 53 (S. Lincs.) and v.c. 11 (S. Hants.). B.S.B.I. News 89: 32.

Nicolle D.J. (2002) Euphorbia maculata spotted. BSBI News 89: 32-33.

Rességuier P. (2010) Die Verbreitung der Gattung Chamaesyce auf den Friedhöfen des Landkreises Main-Spessart, Bayern. Forum Geobotanicum 4: 42-46. [available online at:]

Röthlisberger J. (2007) Aktuelle Verbreitung der Gattung Chamaesyce (Euphorbiaceae) in der Schweiz. Bauhinia 20: 19-33. [available online at:]

Saintenoy-Simon J. (2012) Groupe flore Bruxelloise. Rapport des excursions de l’année 2010. Adoxa 71: 8-44.

Verloove F. (2002) Ingeburgerde plantensoorten in Vlaanderen. Mededeling van het Instituut voor Natuurbehoud n° 20: 227 p.

Verloove F. (2006) Euphorbia maculata. In: Van Landuyt W., Hoste I., Vanhecke L., Van den Bremt P., Vercruysse W. & De Beer D., Atlas van de flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, Nationale Plantentuin van België en Flo.Wer: 395.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith