Euphorbia - Fieldwork Activities

USA, southwestern Florida, Aug 2010

Participants: Paul Berry & Lois Brako.

Trip account by P. Berry.

This was a short field trip to southwestern Florida. Our main aim was to visit the type locality of Euphorbia (Chamaesyce) cumulicola Small, a relative of the more widespread, coastal species Euphorbia bombensis Jacq., to determine if it is really distinct or not from E. bombensis. This is part of a group that prefers deep sandy substrates and has glabrous foliage and large seeds for the group. We were successful in finding three populations of E. cumulicola, and determined at least from our field observations that the two species are indeed distinct, both morphologically and habitat-wise. Euphorbia bombensis is found strictly in coastal dunes near the ocean, whereas E. cumulicola can occur closeby, but in finer sand and in more protected areas than beach habitats. We also collected a number of other native and introduced species of the Chamaesyce clade of Euphorbia, as well as several forms of Euphorbia (Poinsettia) cyathophora.

A population of Euphorbia bombensis in its natural habitat near the ocean.

Individual of E. bombensis.

A closer view of E. bombensis.

Euphorbia cumulicola forming dense mats ( brown color).

Morphological features of E. cumulicola.

The bright colors of Euphorbia cyathophora.

© PBI Euphorbia Project