by Stephen Mifsud
   22 Jun 2024      ()
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Euphorbia dendroides   (Tree Spurge)

Euphorbia dendroides  (EUPHORBIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Apr-2006 (taxon update: Apr-2006)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Euphorbia dendroides - datasheet created on Apr-2006. Retrieved from on 22-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Euphorbia dendroidesL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 462 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Tithymalus dendroides Hill
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Euphorbiaceae Juss. (The Spurge Family)
30 species from the Euphorbiaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Tree Spurge, Woody Spurge

Maltese name(s) :

Tengħud tas-siġra

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Nano-Phanerophyte ( small trees to large shrubs, usually <5 m )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Protected by law: Schedule III of [S.L. 549.44] (Conservation requires the designation of SAC)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

January – April

Colour of Flowers:

Inconspicuous, Yellow or Green


May cause allergic reactions or irritation in contact with the skin or mucous membranes

Name Derivation :

Euphorbia: Named for Euphorbus, a Greek physician to Juba II - King of Mauretania of Numibia (52-50 BC - 23 AD), who might have used a certain plant in allusion to his swollen belly, possibly the plant Euphorbia resinifera. (Further info: [link]). Euphorbus can have also been derived from 'Eu-' = good or true and '-phorbe' = pasture or fodder, thus giving the meaning well-fed or provides a fat-belly from consumption. (Greek origin )
dendroides: From the word 'dendron' meaning a tree and referring to the general tree-like structure of the plant. (Greek origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Encouraged to be planted in the wild that is in rural areas including ODZ.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Rocky places near the sea.
Preferred habitat in Malta: On the slopes of valleys and cliffs.
Botanical Description: Stems up to 200 cm, apparently dichotomously branched. Leaves 25-65 x 3-8 mm, oblong-lanceolate, obtuse, mucronulate. Ray-leaves like the cauline but rather shorter and wider; raylet-leaves broadly rhombic, yellowish. Rays 5-8, dichotomous. Glands suborbicular, irregularly lobed. Capsule 5-6 mm, the valves laterally compressed, smooth or nearly so. Seeds 3 mm, laterally compressed, grey.
Chromosome number: 2n=18
Distributional range: Mediterranean region.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Ag Al Bl Ca Co Cr Eg Ga Gr Hs It Ju Li LS Ma Sa Si Tn Tu(A)

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (18 images)
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-0.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-1.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-2.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-3.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-4.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-5.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-6.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-7.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-8.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-9.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-10.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-11.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-12.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-13.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-14.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-15.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-16.
   Euphorbia dendroides   -   Image Code: EUPDD-17.

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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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