A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.




A group of plants belonging to the spurge family, of which two shrubby species are sometimes seen in cultivation. They have little beauty of flower or fruit, but are rather neat in habit. Leaves alternate. Flowers unisexual, produced in the leaf-axils of the current season’s growth, small, green; the females solitary; males in axillary clusters. Fruit a dry capsule of three divisions, each division two-valved. There are about twelve species known, inhabiting both the New and Old Worlds, but the two following are the only shrubby ones I have seen in cultivation. Neither can be said to deserve a place in gardens except for its botanical interest. They thrive in ordinary loam in full sunshine, and can be increased by cuttings in August.

Species articles