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Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)
Downy rhizomatous perennial, found in woodland and scrub. Common in S England and Wales but scarce or absent elsewhere. Upright stems carry unstalked, dark green, 6cm long leaves. Umbels of yellow flowers, lacking petals and sepals, appear April to June. Height up to 80cm
Wood Spurge is a hairy, perennial of up to 80 cm high, which often forms large patches. The stem is erect, usually un-branches and often has a red tinge. The evergreen leaves are oblong and often broadest above the middle and are crowded near the stem tops. The yellowish-green flowers are borne on umbels with 5-10 rays and have robust kidney-shaped bracts, fused together to embrace the stem, and encircles one female and several male flowers without sepals or petals. The fruit is a granular capsule and the seeds are blackish.
Wood Spurge grows on damp neutral or mildly acid soils in open woods, woodland clearings and can form extensive colonies, especially in recently cleared coppices. This plant is often associated with ancient woodland. Found in England south of the Wash and in the Channel Islands. It is rare in Wales and scarce elsewhere. Flowers: March - May.