CYPRESS SPURGE, Euphorbia cyparissias L. 1, plants arising from old stems and creeping rootstocks; 2, inflorescence; 3, seed; 4, leaf and portion of stem; 5, entire plant. Perennial, usually reproducing by creeping rootstocks but occasionally by seeds. Stems in tufts, forming dense mats if not disturbed, usually not exceeding 1 foot (30 cm) in height, somewhat branched, smooth, very leafy, with milky juice. Leaves oblong, narrow, smooth, alternate, pale green. Flowers small, greenish, having petals fused in the form of a cup; growing in axils of a terminal whorl of yellowish floral bracts that turn purplish at maturity. Seed pods on short stalk from the cuplike base, smooth, waxy, 3-lobed with 3 seeds. Seeds brownish-gray, smooth. Found in pastures, roadsides, and waste places. Often spreads from gardens where it is used as an ornamental.