Euphorbia paralias Linnaeus, 1753
Common names: Sea Spurge [En], Euphorbe maritime, Euphorbe des dunes, Euphorbe des sables [Fr], Zeewolfsmelk [Nl], Strand-Wolfsmilch [De], Euforbia marittima [It], Παράλιος Φλώμος [Gr]
Gavathas, LESVOS ● Greece
Description: Glaucous perennial plant growing up to 70 cm tall. The crowded leaves are elliptic-ovate (ovate toward the top of the stems) and 5 to 20 mm long.
The upright densely leaved stems have stiff closely overlapping, thick ovate to elliptic acute leaves, of 3 - 30 mm. The leaves near the base are obovate-oblong, the ones near the middle are elliptic-oblong, while the top ones are ovate.
If the plant is branched, it is branched only from the base with 0 – 9 axillary branches. As in all Euphorbiaceae, the inflorescence unit is called a cyathium; cyathia are borne in terminal cymes. Each cyathium is a solitary terminal female flower surrounded by many male flowers, all enclosed by a cup-shaped involucre with ‘horns’, bordered by a whorl of leaves.
The fruit is a capsule and is deeply grooved and granulate on the keels. The 3 seeds per capsule are large (approx. 3 mm) and rounded, smooth and grey.
Biology: Flowering from May to September.
Habitat: Coastal sands, littoral dunes.
Distribution: Western and southern Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. Widely naturalised in Australia.
Flowers of Chania