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Euphorbia serpyllifolia facts for kids

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Euphorbia serpyllifolia
Euphorbia serpyllifolia1.jpg
Scientific classification
  • E. serpyllifolia subsp. hirtula
  • E. serpyllifolia subsp. serpyllifolia
  • Anisophyllum novomexicanum Klotzsch & Garcke
  • Chamaesyce aequata Lunell
  • Chamaesyce albicaulis (Rydb.) Rydb.
  • Chamaesyce consanguinea Millsp.
  • Chamaesyce erecta Lunell
  • Chamaesyce neomexicana (Greene) Standl.
  • Chamaesyce occidentalis (Drew) Millsp.
  • Chamaesyce rugulosa (Engelm. ex Millsp.) Rydb.
  • Chamaesyce serpyllifolia (Pers.) Small
  • Euphorbia albicaulis Rydb.
  • Euphorbia consanguinea Engelm. ex Boiss. nom. illeg.
  • Euphorbia neomexicana Greene
  • Euphorbia notata Engelm. ex Boiss. nom. illeg.
  • Euphorbia novomexicana (Klotzsch & Garcke) L.C.Wheeler
  • Euphorbia occidentalis Drew
  • Euphorbia rugulosa (Engelm. ex Millsp.) Greene
  • Euphorbia subserrata Engelm. ex Boiss. nom. illeg.

Euphorbia serpyllifolia (Euphorbia serpillifolia) is a species of euphorb known by the common names thymeleaf sandmat or thyme-leafed spurge. It is native to a large part of North America from Canada to Mexico, where it is a common member of the flora in many types of habitat. This is an annual herb growing as a prostrate mat or taking a somewhat erect form. The oblong leaves are up to about 1.5 centimeters long, sometimes hairy and finely toothed along the edges. The tiny inflorescence is a cyathium about a millimeter wide. It bears scalloped white petal-like appendages arranged around the actual flowers. At the center are several male flowers and one female flower, which develops into a lobed, oval fruit up to 2 millimeters wide. This plant had a number of traditional medicinal uses for many Native American groups.


  • Euphorbia serpyllifolia subsp. hirtula is limited to California and Baja California.
  • Euphorbia serpyllifolia subsp. serpyllifolia has far wider distribution throughout much of North America with a gap in interior eastern states of the United States.


The Zuni people use it as a cathartic, an emetic, and to increase the flow of milk in a breastfeeding mother. The leaves are used to sweeten corn meal and chewed for the pleasant taste.

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