Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Chamaesyce arizonica, Arizona Sandmat

Chamaesyce arizonica, Arizona Sandmat, Southwest Desert Flora Chamaesyce arizonica, Arizona Sandmat, Southwest Desert Flora Chamaesyce arizonica, Arizona Sandmat, Southwest Desert Flora Chamaesyce arizonica, Arizona Sandmat, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Chamaesyce arizonica
Common Name: Arizona Sandmat
Also Called: Spurge: (Spanish: Golondrina)
Family: Euphorbiaceae, Spurge or Euphorbia Family
Synonyms: (Chamaesyce versicolor, Euphorbia arizonica, Euphorbia versicolor)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 6 inches more or less, hairy, branches alternating.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; prostrate but often more erect, glabrous or hairy, milky sap, poisonous.
Leaves: Green; opposite with short petioles, stipules small, separate, leaf-shape asymmetric, ovate, leaves hairy, tips pointed, margins entire.
Flower Color: White or pink petaloid appendages; glands red, inflorescence resembles a "flower", typically urn-shaped, solitary, actual flowers small or inconspicuous, botanically a cyathium, monecious, fruit is a capsule.
Flowering Season: February to October.
Elevation: 1,000 to 4,000 feet, usually at lower elevations.

Habitat Preferences: Rocky slopes and sandy areas.

Recorded Range: Arizona Sandmat is relatively rare in the United States where it is found in AR, CA, NM and TX. Primarily found in southeast California and throughout Arizona. Arizona Sandmat is also native to Baja California and northern Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Chamaesyce arizonica.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: Over 90 species in Chamaesyce in the United States, Canada and Mexico. World-wide over 440 species. Approximately 39 species in Arizona, statewide. Note: Taxonomists appear to be moving toward reclassification of Chamaesyce to Euphorbia, its former classification.

Comments: Arizona Sandmat is one of several Sandmat or "spurges" in Arizona. Many are difficult to identify and often key characteristics require a 10 power lens or seed examination. The semi-erect growth and possible its urn-shaped involucre, although tiny to examine, are important distinctions for Arizona Sandmat.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see: Chiricahua Mountain Sandmat, Chamaesyce florida, Whitemargin Sandmat, Chamaesyce albomarginata; Head Sandmat, Chamaesyce capitellata; Royal Sandmat, Chamaesyce dioica; Hyssopleaf Sandmat, Chamaesyce hyssopifolia; Red-gland Sandmat, Chamaesyce melanadenia; Carrizo Mountain Sandmat, Chamaesyce pediculifera; Threadstem Sandmat, Chamaesyce revoluta and Yuma Sandmat, Chamaesyce setiloba.

Date Profile Completed: 5/15/2015, rev. 07/22/2015, updated format 10/12/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Euphorbia arizonica.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 5/15/2015)
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,