Tibetan Spurge
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Tibetan Spurge
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Tibetan Spurge • Kashmiri: Dud-bug
Botanical name: Euphorbia tibetica    Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Synonyms: Tithymalus tibeticus, Galarhoeus tibeticus

Tibetan Spurge is a semi-prostrate hairless glaucous somewhat fleshy perennial herb up to 20 cm, although commonly 5-10 cm tall, with many stems. In spurges, flowers are arranged in cyathia, which have a central female flower, surrounded by male flowers. Cyathia are shortly stalked, broadly bellshaped. There are 4 glands transversely oblong, rounded on the outer edge, madder, maroon or black, which look like petals of a flower. Stem-leaves are alternate, almost stalkless, very variable in shape and size, inverted-triangular, inverted-lanceolate, oblong or linear, 0.1-3 x 0.1-0.5 cm, pointed, blunt, flat or tricuspidate at the tip, tapered to the base, entire or irregularly or remotely toothed in the upper half. Fruit are long-stalked, ovoid, 4 x 4.5 mm, smooth. Tibetan Spurge is found in Soviet Central Asia, W. Tibet, NW India, W. China. In India it is found in deserts, semidesert areas, dry and semidry fields in the Himalayas, in Ladakh, Spiti, Kinnaur, at altitudes of 2500-5000 m. Flowering: June-August.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Nubra Valley, Ladakh.

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