Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 May 2017 | 9(5): 10233–10235






Euphorbia royleana Boiss., (Euphorbiaceae) a new record for the Eastern Ghats, India

N. Sarojinidevi 1 & Rudraraju Reddi Venkataraju 2

1,2 Department of Botany, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapuramu, Andhra Pradesh 515003, India

1 (corresponding author), 2







Editor: N.P. Balakrishnan, Coimbatore, India Date of publication: 26 May 2017 (online & print)


Manuscript details: Ms # 2640 | Received 31 February 2016 | Final received 09 April 2017 | Finally accepted 01 May 2017


Citation: Sarojinidevi, N. & R.R. Venkataraju (2017). Euphorbia royleana Boiss., (Euphorbiaceae) a new record for the Eastern Ghats, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 9(5): 10233–10235;


Copyright: © Sarojinidevi & Venkataraju 2017. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Funding: UGC - No. F. No3-7/2011(SAP-II), Dt. 01.04.2011).


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: The first author thanks the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi for financial support under SAP project (UGC Sanction Letter No. F. No3-7/2011(SAP-II), Dt. 01.04.2011). We thank the anonymous reviewers for their suggestions to improve this article, and Microsoft Corporation for the map used in this article.





Euphorbia L., is the largest genus in the family Euphorbiaceae and the sixth largest genus among flowering plants, consisting of around 2,000 species and occurring throughout the world chiefly in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions. The genus is represented by 84 species in India and addition of Euphorbia kadapensis Sarojin. & R.R.V. Raju (2014), E. gokakensis S.R. Yadav, Malpure & Chandore (2016), and E. seshachalamensis Prasad & Prasanna (2016). The genus stands at the top with 30 species endemic to India (Balakrishnan 1998; Binojkumar & Balakrishnan 2010).

During the present floristic studies in the Eastern Ghats of Odisha, flowering specimens of an unknown Euphorbia were collected from the region. After critical investigation of its diagnostic characters, the specimens were identified as Euphorbia royleana Boiss., hitherto unreported from the region (Images 1 & 2). On screening the relevant taxonomic literature (Saxena & Brahmam 1995; Binojkumar & Balakrishnan 2010), it was found that this species had no past record of its occurrence from anywhere in the Eastern Ghats. Therefore, the present report of E. royleana is the first record for the region of the Eastern Ghats.



Euphorbia royleana Boiss.

in DC., Prodr.15(2):83.1862, nom. nov. pro. E. pentagona Royle, non Haw.1828; Brandis, For. Fl. northwestern India 438.1874; Hook.f., Fl. Brit.India 5:247.1887; Parker, For. Fl. Punjab 445.1918; Duthie, Fl.U. Gangetic Pl.3:76.1903; Collett, Fl. Simlensis 446.1921; Brandis, Indian Trees 558.1921; Gamble, Man. Indian Timb.591.1922; Bor, Man. Indian For.Bot.172. 1953; Babu, Herb. Fl. Dehra Dun 459.1977; Bir & Sharma in Indian For.106:744.1980; Polunin & Stainton, Fl. Himalaya 112.1984; Almeida, Fl. Maharashtra IVB: 319.2003.

Description: Shrubs or small trees, 2–4 m tall with dense crown, glabrous, stems woody, branched; branches whorled above, 5–7 angled, slightly projected 5mm long, blackish; spines paired, divaricate 2–4 mm long. Leaves alternate, sub-sessile, obovate-oblanceolate attenuate at base, margin entire, apex mucronate, 4–10 by 2–4 cm, glabrous, fleshy, caducous, often absent when in flower, midnerve prominent. Cyathia sub-terminal and from internodal sinuses of branches, solitary, in diads or triads, the central one sessile, yellowish, primary peduncles 1-3 above the podarium, ca. 5mm long. Bracts ovate, acuminate, as long as involucre, membranous. Involucre turbinate, 3–4 by 4–5 mm, yellow, lobes 4, broad, fimbriate; glands 5, transversely oblong, ca. 3mm wide, ca. 1.5mm long. Staminate florets: pedicels ca. 1mm long, bracteoles laciniate, ca. 1.8 mm long, anthers sub-globose. Pistillate floret: gynophores 15mm long, ovary sub-ovoid, styles free from the middle, stigma shortly bifuricated. Fruits subglobose, trigonous with three compressed, obtuse cocci, 6–9 mm in diam., glabrous, greyish-green. Seeds sub-globose, 2–2.5 mm in diam., brown to pale black, ecarunculate.









Habitat: Rare in scrub forests and dry rocky hill slopes.

Specimen examined: 31440 (SKU), 23.ii.2016, near Balapur, Khurda District, Odisha, coll. N. Sarojini Devi, at Sri Krishnadevaraya University Herbarium, Anantapuramu District, Andhra Pradesh, India (Image 3).

Distribution: In India, the species is hitherto known in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Assam. The present exploration extends its distribution to southeastern peninsula from Odisha as an extension of distribution from the northern states. The present study reports that E. royleana is now found in the Eastern Ghats region also (Image 1).

Phenology: Flowering and fruiting; February–June.

Specimens consulted: The collected species is matched with the authentic herbarium specimens stored at CAL Herbarium: Balik, Arunachal Pradesh, Burkill, 30.i.1912, 350m, Burkill 36508 (CAL); Lakshimipur, Sadiya, Arunachal Pradesh, 24.viii.1909, Burkill 32682 (CAL); Bahshar, Nirt, Himachal Pradesh, 24.iv.1891, Lace 847 (CAL).



Balakrishnan, N.P. (1998). Endemism in the family Euphorbiaceae of India, pp. 67–92. In: Mathew, P. & M. Sivadasan (eds.) Diversity and Taxonomy of Tropical Flowering Plants. Mentor Books, Calicut.

Binojkumar, M.S. & N.P. Balakrishnan (2010). The genus Euphorbia L. (Euphorbiaceae) in India: A Taxonomic Revision. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, 291-337pp.

Malpure, N.V., A.N. Chandore & S.R. Yadav (2016). Euphorbia gokakensis (Euphorbiaceae) from sandstone formations in Karnataka, India. Nordic Journal of Botany 34(3): 380–383.

Prasad, K. & P.V. Prasanna (2016). Euphorbia seshachalamensis (Euphorbiaceae) a new species from Andhra Pradesh, India. Annels of Botanici Fenneci 53(1–2): 73–76.

Sarojinidevi, N. & R.R. Venkataraju (2014). Euphorbia kadapensis (Euphorbiaceae), a new species from southern India. Phytotaxa 181: 179–183.

Saxena, H.O. & M. Brahman (1995). Flora of Orissa, Vol. III. Acanthaceae to Commelinaceae. Orissa Forest Development Corporation Limited, Bhubaneshwar, 1629–1642pp.