Information on Dwarf Spurge

Common Name: Dwarf Spurge
Scientific Name: Euphorbia exigua
Irish Name: Sphuirse bhocht
Family Group: Euphorbiaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Dwarf Spurge could sometimes be confused with:

Spurge, Sun, Spurge, Portland, Spurge, Petty,

This is a very slender, grey-green, hairless annual which tends to be found mainly on arable, mainly calcareous, soils. Its yellowish flowers, like those of most Spurges, consist of cups with toothed rims and crescent-shaped glands, with one female flower and several male flowers, each with one stamen. The lobes bear horns. The umbels are three-rayed, and the bracts are similar to the leaves. Unlike other Spurges, it  has unstalked, untoothed, very narrow, lanceolate leaves. Dwarf Spurge is thought to have probably been introduced into Ireland and  is classed as a rare plant. Its distribution is generally in the Eastern half of Ireland together with the Midlands. It belongs to the Eurphorbiaceae or Spurge family. 

I first saw this species in August 2014 when I was told where I might find it by Paula O’Meara, BSBI’s Joint Vice-recorder for Counties Waterford and Wexford. I also photographed it then.  Many thanks to Paula for the tip. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Spurge, Dwarf
Spurge, Dwarf