Telephus Spurge / Center For Plant Conservation
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Plant Profile

Telephus Spurge (Euphorbia telephioides)

This tiny plant can grow to 1 foot tall, and has leaves that are smooth and fleshy, with a milky sap. Photo Credit: T. Race
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Threatened
  • Family: Euphorbiaceae
  • State: FL
  • Nature Serve ID: 139231
  • Lifeform: Forb/herb
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/08/1989

Euphorbia telephioides is a perennial herb found only in Gulf, Franklin, and Bay counties, Florida in the Florida panhandle. It has numerous stems, giving it a bushy appearance, and flowers are reddish-green cup-like structures that appear from April through July. Fruit is a three-lobed capsules. (USFWS 1994; FNAI 2000) All occurrences of this species are within four miles of the coast in an area that is under intense development. Several construction projects that threaten this habitat area have already been approved. (USFWS 1992)

Where is Telephus Spurge (Euphorbia telephioides) located in the wild?


Found in wiregrass dominated longleaf pine savannahs, in the mesic flatwoods, and on low sand ridges of pine-scrub oak near the Gulf of Mexico. (FNAI 2000, NatureServe 2001)


Endemic only to Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties, Florida. Its entire range is within four miles of the Gulf Coast.

States & Provinces:

Telephus Spurge can be found in Florida

Which CPC Partners conserve Telephus Spurge (Euphorbia telephioides)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Tina Stanley
  • 05/11/2023
  • Seed Collection Orthodox Seed Banking

According to a March 2023 extract of the Florida Plant Rescue Database, Atlanta Botanical Garden holds 44 accessions of Euphorbia telephioides of wild origin.

Tina Stanley
  • 05/11/2023
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

According to a March 2023 extract of the Florida Plant Rescue Database, Bok Tower Gardens holds 4 accessions of Euphorbia telephioides totalling approximately 417 seeds.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

A Florida endemic known to occur only in Gulf, Franklin, and Bay counties, Florida, with about 40 occurrences but a total of fewer than 5000 plants. The species requires fire, but its coastal habitat is being converted to pine plantations and real estate developments.

Nick Baker
  • 01/01/2010

This species habitat is threatened by development of coastal areas for roads, housing, and tourism. It is also threatened by establishment of pine plantations. (USFWS 1992) This species is vulnerable to canopy closure due to fire suppression. (USFWS

Nick Baker
  • 01/01/2010

Occurs at 22 sites along the Gulf Coast in Bay, Gulf, and Franklin Counties from Panama City Beach to east of Apalachicola. A few of these sites are protected, but most occur on private timberlands and utility rights-of-way. (FNAI 2000, USFWS 1992)

Nick Baker
  • 01/01/2010

No research is known for this species.

Nick Baker
  • 01/01/2010

There is little land where this plant occurs that is set aside for conservation. As a result, there is little active management occurring.

Nick Baker
  • 01/01/2010

Conducting inventories on potential sites and acquiring land for conservation is essential preserving this species. Development and implementation of management and monitoring plans.


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Taxon Euphorbia telephioides
Authority Chapman
Family Euphorbiaceae
CPC Number 1918
ITIS 28141
Duration Perennial
Common Names telephus spurge
Associated Scientific Names Euphorbia telephioides | Euphorbia nudicaulis | Galarhoeus telephioides | Tithymalus telephioides
Distribution Endemic only to Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties, Florida. Its entire range is within four miles of the Gulf Coast.
State Rank
State State Rank
Florida S1
Ecological Relationships


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