Euphorbia prostrata Ait.

prostrate sandmat

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Prostrate sandmat is native to tropical and subtropical America, as well as the central portion of the United States. It is introduced to many other parts of the world, including eastern and western North America. This is a common weed of roadsides and commercial greenhouses in the southern and central United States. Extracts of the plant have been studied and marketed in India as a treatment for hemorrhoids. It is a rare visitor to New England, having been collected only from cotton waste in Massachusetts.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats)

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
Leaf type
the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower symmetry
  • NA
  • there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
Number of sepals, petals or tepals
there are no petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower, or they are not clearly present
Fruit type (general)
  • the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
  • the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Bulbils
    the plant does not appear to have bulbils
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
  • Flowers
    Anther opening
    the anthers have narrow slits or furrows that run lengthwise along the anthers
    Anther spurs
    the anthers do not have spurs on them
    Calyx symmetry
    NA
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Cleistogamous flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on the plan
    Corolla morphology
    NA
    Corolla palate
    NA
    Corona lobe length
    0 mm
    Epicalyx
    NA
    Epicalyx number of parts
    0
    Filament surface
    the filament is smooth, with no hairs or scales
    Flower description
    the flower has a superior ovary, and lacks a hypanthium
    Flower symmetry
    • NA
    • there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Flowers sunken into stem
    no
    Fused stamen clusters
    NA
    Horns in hoods (Asclepias)
    NA
    Hypanthium
    the flower does not have a hypanthium
    Inflorescence one-sided
    the flowers are arrayed in a spiral around the inflorescence axis or branches, or occur singly, or in several ranks
    Inner tepals (Rumex)
    NA
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of sepals, petals or tepals
    there are no petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower, or they are not clearly present
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes neither petals nor sepals
    Petal and sepal colors
    NA
    Petal appearance
    NA
    Petal folds or pleats
    NA
    Petal hairs (Viola)
    NA
    Petal number
    0
    Petal tip shape
    NA
    Petal tips (Cuscuta)
    NA
    Reproductive system
    each flower has only carpels or only stamens, but both types of flower are present on each plant (monoecious)
    Scales inside corolla
    NA
    Sepal and petal color
    NA
    Sepal appendages
    NA
    Sepal appendages (Oenothera)
    NA
    Sepal number
    0
    Staminodes
    there are no staminodes on the flower
    Umbel flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Upper lip of bilabiate corolla
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene relative orientation
    NA
    Achene shape
    NA
    Achene surface (Polygonum)
    NA
    Achene type
    NA
    Berry color
    NA
    Capsule color (Viola)
    NA
    Capsule ribs
    • NA
    • the capsule has no prominent ribs or wings
    Capsule splitting
    • NA
    • the capsule splits by three main valves, teeth or pores
    Fruit (pyxis) dehiscence
    NA
    Fruit beak length
    0 mm
    Fruit features (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Fruit locules
    three
    Fruit type (general)
    • the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    • the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
    Legumes (Fabaceae)
    NA
    Mericarp length
    anything
    Mericarp segment shape (Desmodium)
    NA
    Other markings on berry
    NA
    Ovary stipe
    the ovary or fruit does not have a stipe
    Placenta arrangement
    the plant has axile placentation, in which the ovules are attached where the septa of a compound ovary are united, usually on the central axis, or to the septa themselves
    Rows of seeds in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit compression
    the fruit is not flattened
    Schizocarpic fruit segments
    0–3
    Septum in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    the fruit does not have wings on it
    prickles on fruits
    the fruits do not have thorn-like defensive structures
  • Glands or sap
    Glands on leaf blade
    the leaf blades do not have glandular dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is milky and opaque, and may be white or colored
    Sap color
    the sap is white
  • Growth form
    Parasitism
    the plant is not parasitic
    Plant color
    the leaves or young stems of the plant are green
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
  • Leaves
    Bracteole number (Apiaceae)
    0
    Bracts in plantain (Plantago)
    NA
    Final leaf segment length to width ratio (compound lvs only)
    0
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Leaf arrangement
    opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they whither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf form
    the leaves are green, with an expanded blade and a leaf-like texture
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk attachment to leaf
    the petiole attaches at the basal margin of the leaf blade
    Leaf stalk base
    the petiole base is narrow where it attaches to the stem
    Leaf teeth and lobes
    the leaf blade margin has forward-pointing teeth
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaf variation
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaflet petiolules
    NA
    Leaves per node
    there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Pinnately compound leaf type
    NA
    Stipule features
    NA
    Stipules
    the plant has stipules
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    Specific habitat
    man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branched tendrils
    NA
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles so that it is roughly circular
    Hooked hairs on stem between nodes
    no
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Tendril origin
    NA
    Tendrils
    the plant does not have tendrils

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Sometimes Confused With

Euphorbia maculata:
styles 0.3–0.4 mm long, divided in the apical 1/3 to 1/4, capsules appressed-puberulent, and seeds usually finely wrinked with inconspicuous transverse ridges on each face (vs. E. prostrata, with styles 0.2–0.3 mm long, divided nearly to the base, capsules spreading-villous, at least on the angles, and seeds with 3 or 4 prominent transverse ridges on each face).
Euphorbia vermiculata:
ovary and capsule glabrous, and seeds usually finely wrinked with inconspicuous transverse ridges on each face(vs. E. prostrata, with the ovary and capsule pubescent, and seeds with 3 or 4 prominent transverse ridges on each face).

Synonyms

  • Chamaesyce prostrata (Ait.) Small
  • Euphorbia chamaesyce, auct. non L.

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Genus

Euphorbia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

15.  Euphorbia prostrata Ait. E

prostrate sandmat. Chamaesyce prostrata (Ait.) Small; Euphorbia chamaesyce, auct. non L. 
• MA. Cotton waste.