Euphorbia leucocephala

Euphorbia leucocephala Lotsy

Common Names: Puno Puno

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Habit: Euphorbia leucocephala grows as a slightly pubescent, shrub up to 3 m in height. The leaves are whorled with up to 12 leaves per node. Each leaf up to 4 cm in length, elliptic, with an entire or toothed leaf margin and an mucronate leaf apex. At the base of the petiole are short lived stipules.  The vegetation can be reddish.

The incomplete, imperfect, monoecious, actinomorphic, are arranged in glabrous cyathia clustered terminally in panicles. Below the cyathia/inflorescence are white leaf-like oblanceolate/spatula shaped bracts to 4 cm in length.  There is 1 yellow-green, elongate, cup shaped, gland on the edge of the cyathia. There is no calyx or corolla. Staminate flowers are reduced to a single stamen.  Carpellate flowers are reduced to a single superior carpel, each with 3 locules and numerous seeds.  The glabrous fruit is a ridged capsule at maturity that splits along 3 suture lines.

Habitat: Euphorbia leucocephala grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens abandoned fields, nurseries).

Distribution: Euphorbia leucocephala is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago.  It is native to Central America and southern Mexico but is now distributed globally as an ornamental

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Euphorbia leucocephala is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.

It is grown an ornamental.

All parts of the species are extremely toxic and should not be ingested!!