The Euphorbiaceae is the fourth largest family of flowering plants, within its 6000 species are plants ranging from tiny annual weeds to giant trees. They are found in most of the continents of the world except for the Arctic and Antarctic. Some have economic value and are essential to modern life. This vast number of species is divided up into five sub-families, and a number of tribes and subtribes and further into 300 genera. In a booklet as small as this we can only touch on some of these plantS and a list of further read ing is provided at the end of this publication.