Horned spurge, shorthorn spurge
The Rocky Mountain states, and parts of some adjoining states
Forests, hillsides, canyons, scrubland
Ovate, entire, opposite, stemless, up to 0.5 inches long
Leaves of euphorbia brachycera are light green in color, slightly upcurved along the axis, and are concentrated towards the upper end of the thick reddish green stems. They grow close together with an opposite arrangement, becoming reddish as they age. The top of the stem divides several times, the branches split again into three, each topped by another pair of leaves and the flowerhead, which consists of a greenish, cup shaped involucre supporting four yellow, horned glands, while at the center are a ring of staminate florets around a single pistillate floret, which after pollination enlarges to form the green fruit.
Plants typically produce many short stems, forming compact, spreading mats with numerous flowers and leaves. Stems and leaves are smooth and hairless.