University of Missouri Extension

MP903, New May 2008

Quail-Friendly Plants of the Midwest

Flowering spurge

Forb

Brood coverFood

Numerous white flowers make flowering spurge conspicuous

Numerous white flowers make flowering spurge conspicuous, even from a distance.

Jim Rathert, Missouri Department of Conservation

Spokelike arrangement (umbel) of flower stalks.Milky sap is a good indicator of flowering spurge, but another is the arrangement of the flower heads. This view, looking down on the plant, depicts the attachment of flower stalks to the main stem like spokes on a wheel. Spokelike arrangement (umbel) of flower stalks.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation
 

Delicate five-petaled flowers have yellow centers

Delicate five-petaled flowers have yellow centers.

©Tom Barnes, University of Kentucky

Flowering spurge seeds

Flowering spurge seeds are small, but they are common in quail diets.

Matt Seek, Missouri Department of Conservation

Description

This common forb may be found in idle areas, field borders and roadsides. It may reach 3 feet tall on richer soils. Leaves at the base and lower portion of the stem are alternate, but become opposite or whorled toward the flower. Inflorescences are multibranched, with multiple flower heads per branch. Flowers have five white petals with a yellow center and average about one-third of an inch across. Breaking the stem reveals a milky white sap. The fruit is a three-lobed ball borne on a stalk above the flower petals.

Bloom period

April to October

Use by bobwhites

Bobwhites eat the seeds of this common forb and may use it for brood rearing as well.
 

MP903, new May 2008

MP903 Quail-Friendly Plants of the Midwest | University of Missouri Extension

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