Euphorbia ipecacuanhae
wild ipecac

Euphorbia ipecacuanhae
Euphorbia ipecacuanhae
photo, Renee Brecht
Britton & Brown
Botanical name: Euphorbia ipecacuanhae
Common name: wild ipecac
Group: dicot
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Growth type: forb/herb
Duration: perennial
Origin: native
Plant height: 5-10"
Foliage: leaves obovate, glabrous, green to purplish red
Flower: greenish, rather inconspicuous
Flowering time: late April to late May; fruit late May to July
Habitat: dry sandy ground of pinelands, woods, barrens
Range in New Jersey: from Middlesex and Mercer counties southward through the coastal plain
Heritage ranking, if any: n/a
Misc. plants vary in color and in form. According to Witmer Stone in 1910, "This is another of the characteristic plants of the Pine Barrens, delighting in the most arid stretches of white sand. Its tufts of yellow blossoms, which appear before the foliage, and later its rosettes of somewhat fleshy leaves, will be found to spring from a cluster of slender stems, which unite as we dig downward until they finally coalesce into one stout root. How far it descends I have never been able to ascertain, though I have followed several for three feet into the sand, at which point they showed no sign of diminishing in thickness. Both leaves and stems are full of the milky juice characteristic of the genus. The leaves vary greatly both in size and color, some are linear and others broadly oval 5.5 x 3 cm, with all possible intermediates, while all styles occur either green or deep crimson. The variations are not correllated with any conditions of environment, so far as one can see, extremes growing side by side in perfectly uniform surroundings." (p 528)