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Mole Plant Euphorbia lathyris

Phonetic Spelling
yoo-FOR-bee-ah lath-EYE-riss
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Euphorbia lathyris, or Caper spurge, is an annual/bienniall herb that flowers from May to June. It can be found in the landscape as a cultivated herbaceous perennial, or weedy in disturbed areas, or escaping in waste places and around buildings. It will grow well in most types of soil and in shade or sun. The plant is self-seeding and can be difficult to remove once established. Leaves alternate below and opposite above and yellow, crescent-shaped, glands on the rim of the cup-shaped "flower" contain large, 3-lobed capsules holding seeds. The growing plant is said to repel mice and moles (hence the common name Mole Plant), although this may be more folklore than fact. Caper spurge is toxic (see below) even though it was once used as a violent purgative.

Caper spurge prefers a light well-drained soil in an open position and although it does best with a dry soil, it will grow almost anywhere. It is rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. 

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases, insects, or other problems.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#partial shade#biennial#toxic#rabbit resistant#cpp#deer resistant#seed pods#annual weed#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for children#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#partial shade#biennial#toxic#rabbit resistant#cpp#deer resistant#seed pods#annual weed#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for children#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euphorbia
    Species:
    lathyris
    Family:
    Euphorbiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Biennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central Asia to Pakistan and China to North Vietnam
    Distribution:
    Mountains
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    deer resistant
    Edibility:
    Poisonous
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Flowers give rise to capsules that are coarsely wrinkled and have 3 lobes. The seeds are green ripening brown or grey, produced in globular clusters 1/2 inch in diameter of three seeds compressed together.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are green to yellow-green, .2 of an inch in diameter, with no petals. Flowers are either male or female, but both are found on the same plant. Flowers are pollinated by flies.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Waxy
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are arranged in decussate opposite pairs at the top of the plant, and are lanceolate, 2 to 5 inches long and 1 inch broad, glaucous blue-green with a waxy texture and pale greenish-white midrib and veins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Covered with a powdery bloom (glaucous)
    Stem Description:
    The stems are blue-green, erect, fleshy and can exude a milky latex.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Woodland
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Children
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea when ingested can cause death in people, pets or livestock. Causes redness, swelling, and blisters on the skin after some delay following contact. All parts of the plant, especially the milky sap, are considered toxic.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Diterpene esters in milky latex.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems