San Diego Management & Monitoring Program

Cliff spurge
Euphorbia misera

Kingdom Phylum Subphylum Class Order Suborder Family

Current distribution rangewide

Coastal areas of north-western Mexico and south-western US. Occurs from Santa Barbara to San Diego in California and Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sonora in Mexico [1]. Also found on southern Channel Islands and several islands in Mexico.

Known Populations in San Diego County

Eight occurrences on Conserved Lands in MUs 1 (Tijuana River Valley Regional Park), 3 (City of Chula Vista Central City Preserve, Dennery Canyon, Furby-North Property, Spring Canyon), 6 (Kelly Ranch Habitat Conservation Area), and 7 (Torrey Pines Glider Port).

List status

None [2].

Habitat affinities

Rocky and xeric scrub habitats including coastal bluff scrub, coastal scrub, Mojavean desert scrub, and maritime succulent scrub [1, 2]. Elevation range 10-500 meters [1]. Found in association with genera Bergerocactus, Ferrocactus, Mammillaria, and shrubs Artemisia californica, Cneoridium dumosum, and Eriogonum fasciculatum [3].

Taxonomy and genetics

Euphorbacieae family [2].

Life history demography

Slow growing perennial shrub [2, 4].

Seasonal phenology

Bloom period is December-August [1].

Pollination seed dispersal

Pollinated by insects [5; cited from 1]. Seeds presumed to be self-dispersed [1].


Nonnative species [2] and habitat destruction due to coastal development and erosion from road construction [6]. Additional threats from trail building, sand and gravel mining, off-road vehicle use, and trash dumping.

Special considerations:

Grows readily from seed and cuttings [7, 8; cited from 1]. Seeds are easily harvested by collecting ripened fruit and storing [9].

Cliff spurge sources