Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN
Synonym: Euphorbia cyathophora
A common plant of dunes, hammocks and disturbed sites in most of Florida. The range includes scattered locations in much of the United States except New England and the northwest states, but including Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
This is a glabrous annual growing to about a meter (just over 3 feet) tall. The stems have milky sap, with the lower branches opposite and the upper branches alternate. Leaves are opposite and may be linear or lobed resembling a fiddle shape. Upper bracts have red blotches at the base, prompting one of the common names, painted leaf. Flowers are small and greenish, petals are absent, there is one stamen and the capsules are three-lobed.