Botanikai-Természetvédelmi Folyóirat

Journal of Pannonian Botany

Kitaibelia vol. 10 – no. 1. (2005) p.65-72.

A farkas kutyatej (Euphorbia cyparissias L.) morfológiai, szaporodásbiológiai és fitokémiai jellemzői
Papp Nóra
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The cypress spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias L.) is a common plant species in Europe and Asia. The morphological characteristics are variable in the populations living in different ecological habitats. It occurs as 2 varieties and as several forms. The special inflorescences of the Euphorbiaceae namely cyathia can be found in cyma which have several branch types. This inflorescence is surrounded by bracteas and nectaries. The nectary surface is covered by ornamental cuticle layer with xeromorphic stomata. Leaves are bifacial with xeromorphic stomata. Seeds are in a capsule and contain oils in the endosperm and in the form of caruncle which is an important nutrition for ants. The plant propagates by seeds and also vegetatively by rhizomes. Rhizome buds develope in the autumn, the cyathia at the end of winter. The stem springs out in March and the plant is in bloom until May. After flowering the bracteas become red and develop the fruit with seeds. After seed ripening a lot of leaves increase until the next winter. In the whole plant the latex in branching tubes is characteristic. It contains several phytochemical compounds, among others flavonoids, terpenoids, cyanogene glycosids, alkaloids and a lot of enzymes. Two main flavonoids were detected: kempherol-3-glucuronid and quercetin-3-glucuronid were present in different quantity in the populations from various habitats. These components have an important role in the protection against insects and bacteria.This Euphorbia species is applied against warts in the folk medicine, but the latex irritates the skin and causes ophtalmia. This taxon is the host plant of several Uromyces species, which parasites induce yellow spots on the plant leaves. These infected plants have no flowers and leafy branches. Several herbicides proved to be effective against this weed in the nature.