Rattlesnake Weed

Chamaesyce albomarginata

Rattlesnake weed

Color: White

Common name: Rattlesnake weed

Latin name: Chamaesyce albomarginata


Description: Dense, thin mats of small, roundish opposite leaves and slender stems have milky sap, and have many tiny white flower-like cups. Stems lay flat on the ground, without hairs; the white parts are not the flower, but appendages that surround a tiny petal-less flower on a stalk consisting of 1 female flower surrounded by 15-30 male flowers.

Leaf: 3–8 mm; blade round to oblong, without hairs, short-tapered, blunt-tip or base, margin continuous and smooth.

Range: s San Joaquin Valley, Southwestern California, Deserts.

Habitat: Dry slopes

Elevation: < 2300 m.

Flowering time: Apr–Nov

Notes: Photographed November 3, 2007 on Highway 247 south of Barstow, San Bernardino, Calif. The sap was once thought by Native Americans to be a cure for rattlesnake bites, therefore its common name. A dicot, is a common perennial herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. Distribution outside California: to Utah, Texas, Mexico

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