Scientific Name:
Euphorbia characias L.
Vernacular Name(s):
wulfen spurge

Tomentose, stout, shrubby, herbaceous perennial.  Biennial stems 50–80–(120) cm high, not branched at base.  Lvs alternate, exstipulate, sessile, entire, linear or oblanceolate, cuneate at base, acute and often shortly mucronate, c. 40–100 mm long;  margins revolute.  Terminal umbel with numerous rays, and many axillary rays arising below;  lvs subtending rays similar to stem lvs but usually shorter and broader;  rays sometimes secondarily divided and then forming simple or compound dichasia;  lvs subtending ray-branches and cyathia broadly ovate to elliptic, connate at base.  Glands yellowish, crescent-shaped;  horns short, broad or slender.  Capsule villous, smooth, deeply grooved, rounded or slightly ridged on keels.  Seeds smooth, rounded, light brown or grey, c. 3 mm long.  

[From:  Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]

Number of subspecific taxa in New Zealand within Euphorbia characias L.
Exotic: Fully Naturalised2

Flowering: Jun.–Sep.