Spurge family (Crassulaceae)

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Euphorbia misera - cliff spurge

This unusual stem succulent is characteristic of the succulent coastal scrub of Baja California. Its small round leaves are summer deciduous, but its fleshy branches can be seen year-round and will exude a sticky white latex if damaged. This plant flowers abundantly in winter, and intermittently year-round. The small green fruits look like two fused balls that form on stalks from the center of the flowers. The red or green and white flowers themselves are small (less than 0.5” in diameter.) This plant is quite narrowly distributed on the island in the south-eastern corner, but much more common on the mainland. This plant has a milky latex sap said to be used by native peoples, the whole plant was also used to help animals with rattlesnake bites.

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