Euphorbia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae. Consisting of 2008 species, Euphorbia is the fourth largest genus of flowering plants; it also has one of the largest ranges of chromosome counts, along with Rumex and Senecio. Members of the family and genus are commonly referred to as spurges. Euphorbia antiquorum is the type species for the genus Euphorbia; it was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 in Species Plantarum. The family is primarily found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and the Americas, but also in temperate zones worldwide. Succulent species originate mostly from Africa, the Americas and Madagascar. There exists a wide range of insular species: on the Hawaiian Islands, where spurges are collectively known as "akoko", and on the Canary Islands as "tabaibas".

The common name "spurge" derives from the Middle English/Old French espurge ("to purge"), due to the use of the plant's sap as a purgative. Spurge often presents itself as a noxious weed, harmful to lawns and gardens.

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