Scientific Name:
Euphorbia peplus L.
Vernacular Name(s):
Kaikaiatua; Milkweed; Petty spurge

Glabrous, erect or spreading annual.  Stems 5–40 cm high, branched or not at base.  Lvs alternate, exstipulate, entire, ovate, cuneate at base, subacute to obtuse, 3–20 mm long;  petioles 2–5 mm long.  Terminal umbel (2)–3–(4)-rayed, with often several to numerous axillary rays arising below; lvs subtending rays similar to stem lvs but usually subsessile;  rays sometimes secondarily branched and then forming compound dichasia;  lvs subtending ray-branches and cyathia ovate-triangular, sessile, truncate at base, often asymmetric.  Glands elliptic-oblong;  horns long, slender.  Capsule smooth, shallowly grooved;  keels with 2 slightly winged ridges.  Seeds rounded, grey and brown, c. 1.5 mm long, with 2 long ventral pits and several small circular dorsal pits.

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

Connor, H.E. 1977: The Poisonous Plants in New Zealand. Edition 2. Government Printer, Wellington.
Stewart, J. 1971: Plants in New Zealand Poisonous to Man. New Zealand Department of Health, Wellington.