Euphorbia celastroides

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Euphorbia celastroides
Chamaesyce cyathia.jpg
Chamaesyce celastroides (inflorescence)
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Euphorbioideae
Tribe: Euphorbieae
Subtribe: Euphorbiinae
Genus: Euphorbia
Subgenus: Chamaesyce
Species: E. celastroides
Binomial name
Euphorbia celastroides

Chamaesyce celastroides

Euphorbia celastroides, previously also known as Chamaesyce celastroides, named 'akoko by the Hawaiians, is a species of spurge closely related to the poinsettia.[1] This species develops into a round-shape shrub. This species is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.


E. celastroides grows as a medium-sized shrub or small tree reaching 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height.[2] To grow properly, this species requires temperatures of 15 °C (59 °F) and light shade.[3] This plant develops in a fashion similar to a shrub. In the summer, it assumes a red-violet colouring. It does not lose its leaves in the winter, due to the warm climate of its range. Female flowers have a three-part pistil over a three-part ovary, usually producing three (or sometimes more) seeds.[3] This species is tolerant of heat and drought. They are susceptible to fungal diseases. Its cyathia may be located in short or open-branched cymes, or remain ungrouped in leaf axils. The leaves are distichous (grow in two vertical rows) and may have a glaucous coating. This plant produces a green or brown, rounded fruit 2 to 4 mm long, containing grey-brown seeds 0.5 to 2.5 mm long.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Most varieties of this species can only be found in the Hawaiian Islands.[4][5] E. celastroides is tolerant of drought and grows in dry areas, inland as well coastal.[6] This species is endemic to the polihale and kanaio regions of Kauai and Maui.[7]


E. celastroides has not yet been evaluated by the IUCN.[8] However, due to its endemic nature, it is very vulnerable to human threats. Two examples of such threats are four-wheeled vehicles (which crush the plant) and introduced species (which compete for resources).[7]


This plant has many varieties. These varieties include:[9]

  • Var. amplectens
  • Var. halawana
  • Var. hanapepensis
  • Var. haupuana
  • Var. humbertii
  • Var. ingrata
  • Var. kaenana
  • Var. kohalana
  • Var. laehiensis
  • Var. laurifolia
  • Var. mauiensis
  • Var. nelsonii
  • Var. nematopoda
  • Var. niuensis
  • Var. pseudoniuensis
  • Var. saxicola
  • Var. typica
  • Var. waikoluensis


  1. ^ Euphorbiaceae at
  2. ^ a b Hawaiian flora at
  3. ^ a b E. celastroides at ZipCodeZoo
  4. ^ Wagner, W.; D. Herbst; S. Sohmer (1990). Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 1853. ISBN 0-8248-1152-6. 
  5. ^ on Var.kaenana
  6. ^ Mitchell, Andrew W. (1989). The fragile South Pacific: an ecological odyssey. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. p. 167. ISBN 0-292-72466-7. Retrieved 5 October 2009. 
  8. ^ Chamaesyce celastroides at
  9. ^ Euphorbia on SageBud