This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The stem is much branched. The leaves are oblong, lance-shaped, scattered, clasping. The " flowers " or flowerheads are greenish-yellow in a moderate umbel, with a small involucre with oval lobes, 3-5, with 3-5 divided and forked rays. The general and partial bracts are clasping, the remaining bracts heart-shaped. The stamens are usually 2 in each involucre. The capsule is small, with conical warts. The seeds are small, smooth, shining, oblong, reddish-brown. The plant is 12-36 in. in height, flowering from July to September, and is a herbaceous annual.
The habitat of this Spurge is copses and hedges, shady places. The plant is downy. There are several leafy more or less simple stems. The leaves are elliptic, ovate, lance-shaped, oblong, the upper ones heart-shaped, entire, stalkless, blunt or notched at the tip, thin, broad, downy below. The flowerheads are in an umbel of 5 rays, twice forked. The bracts are broad, the upper ones rounded at the base. The lobes or glands of the involucre are kidney-shaped. The capsule is nearly round, furrowed, warted, the warts cylindrical, the valves not keeled, smooth. The seeds are smooth, broad, pale brown, inversely ovate, shining. The plant is 1-2 ft. high, flowering from May to July, and is a herbaceous perennial.
This species occurs in plantations. The habit is erect. The leaves are long, lance-shaped, narrowed to the base, inversely ovate, blunt. The bracts are similar. The flowerheads are in umbels of 5 long rays, divided into 2 nearly to the base. The partial bracts are triangular to ovate, blunt at the base. The invo-lucral glands are purple and rounded. The capsule has few prominent tubercles, when young downy. The plant is 9-18 in. long, flowering in May and June, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this species is shaded places. The habit is as in the last. The plant is hairy or downy. The stem is tall, branched at the top, with numerous leaves. The leaves are hairy, oblong, lance-shaped, with fine teeth, blunt. The bracts are yellow, oblong, blunt, egg-shaped or elliptic. The flowerheads are greenish-yellow, in an umbel of 4-6 rays, divided into 3, then 2, nearly to the base. The involucre is smooth or hairy, with oblong glands, with oval lobes. The capsule is smooth or hairy, warted, the seeds inversely egg-shaped, smooth. The plant is 2-4 ft. in height, and flowers in May and June, being a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is woods, fields, stream-sides. The habit is creeping. The stem is erect, slender, leafless below, simple, the lateral branches in the axils not bearing flowerheads. The leaves are oblong, lance-shaped, with small teeth, stalkless, blunt or acute, thin, 1 -nerved. The bracts are kidney-shaped, heart-shaped, blunt, with a point. The flowerheads are greenish-yellow in an umbel with 10-20 rays, which are forked at the top, and slender. The involucres are long stalked, small, the lobes with 2 points. The capsules are granulate, the seeds smooth, brown, rounded. The plant is 1-3 ft. high, flowering from June till August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is woods and plantations and grassy places, railway banks, brick pits, etc. The habit is that of the last. The plant is bluish-white. The rootstock is creeping and stolon-iferous. The leaves are more numerous, narrow, linear, entire on the barren shoots, bristle-like, close, turning red. The bracts are blunt, heart-shaped, united below, rounded. The flowerheads are bright yellow, in an umbel of many forked rays. The involucre has lobes with 2 horns. The capsule bears tubercles, and contains man)' white, smooth, rounded seeds. The plant is 9-15 in. in height. It flowers in June and July. The plant is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is stony and rocky woods, and copses and cultivated ground. The habit is erect. The stem is purplish, thick, short, bearing leaves the first year, flowering the next. The leaves are numerous, opposite, in alternate pairs, linear-oblong, the upper heart-shaped, smooth, bluish-white, stalkless, spreading, 1-nerved, blunt, the apex rounded, with a short point. The bracts are heart-shaped below. The flowerheads are yellow, large, in umbels with 3-4 forked rays, which are unequal. The involucre is large, stalk-less, the glands moon-shaped, with 2 nearly erect, blunt points. The capsule is smooth, with a dorsal line. The seeds are rigid, wrinkled. The plant is 1-4 ft. high, flowering in June and July, and is a biennial or perennial.