Euphorbia cyparissias L.
Galarhoeus cyparissias (L.) Small ex Rydb.
Tithymalus cyparissias (L.) Hill
Cypress Spurge, Spurge
I think of Euphorbias as being plants, often cactus-like in appearance, from tropical and subtropical climes. But there are many members of this genus, like cypress spurge, that are at home in temperate climates. This plant was introduced as an ornamental to North America from Europe, and it is now naturalized throughout much of North America. In many areas it is considered an invasive.
Identification: Plants are 4-31" (10-80 cm) in height. They are topped by a ball or dome of “flowers” (really bracts, or specialized leaves). New flowers are greenish yellow or yellow, becoming purple or red as they age. Leaves are small and very narrow, needlelike, ¾-1½" (2-4 cm) × ¹/₃₂-¹/₁₆" (1-2 mm).
Edibility: Poisonous Plants emit a milky sap when broken that irritates eyes, mouth, and skin.
Euphorbia cyparissias at Minnesota Wildflowers
Euphorbia cyparissias on CalPhotos
Euphorbia cyparissias on Wikipedia
Euphorbia cyparissias on the USDA Plants Database
Euphorbia cyparissias on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide
Euphorbia cyparissias at the Bugwood Wiki
Euphorbia cyparissias on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database
Euphorbia cyparissias at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium
Euphorbia cyparissias description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 14 May 2016.
Range: Zones 4-8: