Euphorbia helioscopia

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaEuphorbiaceaeEuphorbiaEuphorbia helioscopia


An annual growing in cultivated and disturbed ground in gardens, on waste ground and in arable fields, particularly with root and leaf crops. It thrives on dry, well-drained, neutral to base-rich soils in sun-warmed situations. The seeds may be dispersed by ants. Mainly lowland, but ascending to 450 m in Clun Forest (Salop).



World Distribution

As an archaeophyte E. helioscopia has a Eurasian Southern-temperate distribution, but it is naturalised in N. America so its distribution is now Circumpolar Southern-temperate.

© G. Toone, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.9

Annual Precipitation (mm): 973

Life form information

Height (cm): 40

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2114

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 642

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 12

Atlas Change Index: -0.77

Weighted Changed Factor: 25

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (171b)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.