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Chamaesyce vermiculata

Chamaesyce vermiculata (Raf.) House

Chamaesyce rafinesquei (Greene) Arthur

Euphorbia vermiculata Raf.

Spotted Spurge, Small Spotted Sandmat, Hairy Spurge, Wormseed Sandmat, Worm-seed Sand-mat

ParentsUnknownGenus is not in the current taxonomy
GenusChamaesyceFrom ancient Greek chamai, “on the ground,” describing a type of prostrate plant
SpeciesvermiculataFrom Latin vermiculus, "little worm" (from Stearn's Botanical Latin)

About plant names...

These North American native plants are common weeds, found on roadsides, gravelly areas, atop mulch, and in other disturbed soils.

Identification: Plants are prostrate, less than 1" (2.5 cm) high, or up to 16" (40 cm) high. Stems vary from green to reddish to dark red, and exude a milky sap when broken. They are hairy, with hairs that point out rather than being matted, ~¹/₃₂" (0.5-1.5 mm) long. Leaves are opposite, somewhat asymmetric, oval, ¼-¾" (6.3-19 mm) long and one half to two thirds as wide, with widely spaced serrations. Leaves often have an irregular dark reddish blotch in the middle. Flowers are nearly imperceptible at less than ⅛" (3.2 mm) in size. They are cyathia with four “petals” that are white or light pink, appearing from July to October. Fruits are ¹/₃₂-¹/₁₆" (1.5-2 mm) in size, hairless, with three lobes.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones The milky sap may cause a mild contact dermatitis. Gloves are advisable when handling this plant.

This species is similar to several others, some shown below:

 

Chamaesyce vermiculata (Spotted Spurge, Small Spotted Sandmat, Hairy Spurge, Wormseed Sandmat, Worm-seed Sand-mat)

8/23/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 21 cm) ID is uncertain

Chamaesyce vermiculata (Spotted Spurge, Small Spotted Sandmat, Hairy Spurge, Wormseed Sandmat, Worm-seed Sand-mat)

8/23/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Chamaesyce vermiculata (Spotted Spurge, Small Spotted Sandmat, Hairy Spurge, Wormseed Sandmat, Worm-seed Sand-mat)

8/23/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH
≈ 24 × 16" (59 × 39 cm) ID is uncertain

 
Chamaesyce maculata
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Chamaesyce vermiculata
Common Name

Prostrate Spurge

Spotted Spurge
Plant Sometimes prostrate, only 1" (2.5 cm) high; sometimes up to 3' (91 cm) in height. Stems are green or pale to strong red in sunlight, heavily branched, with sparse tomentoulose hairs. They produce a milky latex when cut. Sometimes prostrate, less than 1" (2.5 cm) high; or up to 16" (40 cm) high. Stems vary from green to reddish to dark red, and exude a milky sap when broken. They are hairy, with hairs that point out rather than being matted, ~¹/₃₂" (0.5-1.5 mm) long.
Flowers Less than ⅛" (3.2 mm) in size. They are cyathia with four “petals” that are white or light pink. Nearly imperceptible at less than ⅛" (3.2 mm) in size. They are cyathia with four “petals” that are white or light pink, appearing from July to October.
Leaves Opposite, oval but somewhat asymmetric, with one edge flatter than the other and fine serrations, ⅛-1" (5-30 mm) long and about one third to one half as wide. Leaves often have a dark reddish blotch near the center. Opposite, somewhat asymmetric, oval, ¼-¾" (6.3-19 mm) long and one half to two thirds as wide, with widely spaced serrations, often with an irregular dark reddish blotch in the middle.
Fruit ¹/₃₂" (1 mm) in size. Hairy. ¹/₃₂-¹/₁₆" (1.5-2 mm) in size, hairless, with three lobes.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Disturbed soils, roadsides, gravelly areas, atop mulch, gardens, cracks in sidewalks Meadows, fields, roadsides, disturbed soils
Type Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Common

 

Online References:

Chamaesyce vermiculata on Discover Life

Chamaesyce vermiculata at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Chamaesyce vermiculata on Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness

Chamaesyce vermiculata on luirig.altervista.org

Chamaesyce vermiculata on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Chamaesyce on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Chamaesyce vermiculata on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Chamaesyce vermiculata on Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness

References:

Hains, Arthur; Farnsworth, Elizabeth & Morrison, Gordon (illus.), Flora Novae Angliae: a Manual for the Identification of Native and Naturalizaed Higher Vascular Plants of New England, Yale University Press, 2011, p. 568

Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 344

Chamaesyce vermiculata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 31 Oct 2013.

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Chamaesyce vermiculata (Spotted Spurge, Small Spotted Sandmat, Hairy Spurge, Wormseed Sandmat, Worm-seed Sand-mat)

8/23/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH
≈ 2 × 1¾" (5.3 × 4.9 cm) ID is uncertain

Range:

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