Petty Spurge

Euphorbia peplus

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Petty Spurge


Petty Spurge is a common plant of cultivated ground such as gardens, fields and waste ground and sometimes considered a weed. It unusual flowers appear between April and October and, when ripe, its seeds are dispersed in an explosive way. The seeds of Petty Spurge are persistent and ones as old as 50, or even 100, years old have reportedly germinated.

How to identify

The greeny-yellow flowers of Sea Spurge have no petals or sepals, but are held in cup-shaped bracts and appear in clusters; its leaves are oval and green.

Where to find it

Common throughout the UK, but less so in Scotland.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Although they sometimes don't look especially wildlife-friendly, our field edges and waste grounds can provide valuable habitats for all kinds of plants and animals. The Wildlife Trusts get involved in different projects to help make these places as beneficial for wildlife as possible. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Petty Spurge
Latin name
Euphorbia peplus
Height: up to 30cm
Conservation status