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Radium Weed Euphorbia peplus

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
yoo-FOR-bee-uh PE-plus
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Petty Spurge, is a herbaceous annual growing to about a foot high. It is a small, branched, upright plant with pale geen foliage and stems. It resembles leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), but differs in that it is smaller in stature and does not spread by underground runners. It prefers moist, shady locations, but will grow and spread in most disturbed areas. This plant flowers most of the year.

Petty Spurge produces distinctive bracts (modified leaves) below small, pale green flowers. It s native to most of Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia and is widely distributed in North America. It can typically be found on cultivated, arable land, gardens, and other disturbed areas. Outside of its native range, it is widely naturalized and often invasive. No specific data are available on seed dormancy and germination but plants are prolific seed producers and emerge beginning in the cool weather of fall and continue through late spring. 

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems: No known diseases or other problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annual#weed#weedy#toxic#winter annual weed#cpp#sap
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annual#weed#weedy#toxic#winter annual weed#cpp#sap
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euphorbia
    Species:
    peplus
    Family:
    Euphorbiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    It is sometimes called Cancer Weed because components of its sap are being studied for the treatment of skin cancer, leukemia, warts and sunspots.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe to the Western Himalaya, Mediterranean to Somalia
    Distribution:
    throughout
    Edibility:
    toxic if ingested
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a very small capsule that contains black to dark brown seeds with 3 to 4 pits on one side.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers in three-rayed umbels are small and insignificant; yellowish-green in colour, held in leafy bunches. Blooms from June to September.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Oval-acute 1 inch leaves with smooth margins are alternate at the base and opposite further up the stem. The thin, soft leaves are oval, rounded to obovate, pale green in color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Smooth, hairless stems that are red at the bottom and green at the top.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Woodland
    Problems:
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Skin contact with sap can cause intense pain and blistering. Eye contact may cause intense pain and severe swelling. Ingestion may result in severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Diterpene esters in milky latex
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Sap/Juice