spurge flax
Thymelaea passerina (L.) Coss. & Germ.


Thymelaea passerina is an erect herbaceous annual plant that grows from 2.5-24 in. (6-61 cm) tall. The slender wiry stem can be woody and will often branch towards the top. T. passerina is native to Africa, tropical and temperate Asia and Europe.
T. passerina has alternate leaves that are narrow and linear with an acute apex. The leaves have a leathery texture and are from 0.3-1.0 in. (8-25 mm) long.
The greenish-yellow flowers have no petals and are tubular and from 0.08-0.12 in. (2-3 mm) long. Each flower has four sepals and 8 stamens held in two whorls of four. Two small bracts arise from a tuft of white hairs at the base of each flower.
The fruit is a shiny black ovoid achene. The seeds are rounded and brown to black in color.
Ecological Threat
T. passerina grows aggressively; is unpalatable to livestock; and can be found in rangeland areas, disturbed sites and dry pastures.
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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Invasive Listing Sources

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Myrtales
Family: Thymelaeaceae
Genus: Thymelaea
Subject: Thymelaea passerina (L.) Coss. & Germ.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
spurge flax


Plants - Forbs/Herbs