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Euphorbia lathyris
Euphorbia lathyris
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
(unranked): Eurosids I
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Euphorbioideae
Tribe: Euphorbieae
Subtribe: Euphorbiinae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: E. lathyris
Binomial name
Euphorbia lathyris
L.
Synonyms

Euphorbia lathyrus (lapsus)

Euphorbia lathyris (Caper Spurge or Paper Spurge) is a species of spurge native to southern Europe (France, Italy, Greece, and possibly southern England), northwest Africa, and eastward through southwest Asia to western China.[1][2][3]

Other names occasionally used include Gopher Spurge, Gopher Plant or Mole Plant.[1]

Contents

Growth

It is an erect biennial (occasionally annual) plant growing up to 1.5 m tall, with a glaucous blue-green stem. The leaves are arranged in decussate opposite pairs, and are lanceolate, 5–15 cm long and 1-2.5 cm broad, glaucous blue-green with a waxy texture and pale greenish-white midrib and veins. The flowers are green to yellow-green, 4 mm diameter, with no petals. The seeds are green ripening brown or grey, produced in globular clusters 13–17 mm diameter of three seeds compressed together.[3][4]

Chemical characteristics

All parts of the plant, including the seeds and roots are poisonous. Handling may may cause skin irritation as the plant produces latex. While poisonous to humans and most livestock, goats sometimes eat it and are immune to the toxin. However, the toxin can be passed through the goat's milk.[5]

Habitat

Away from its native range, it is widely naturalised in many regions, where it is often considered an invasive weed.[1][2][4] It grows in partial shade to full sun in USDA zones 5–9.

Medicinal uses

The Mole Plant is sold by some nurseries[6] as it is believed to repel moles. It is used in folk medicine as a poison, antiseptic, and a purgative. It is used as a folk remedy for cancer, corns, and warts.[7]

Euphorbia lathyris

Links

Stock illustrative images on Alamy[8]

References

  1. ^ a b c Germplasm Resources Information Network: Euphorbia lathyris
  2. ^ a b Flora Europaea: Euphorbia lathyris
  3. ^ a b Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2
  4. ^ a b Huxley, A, ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. ISBN 0-333-47494-5
  5. ^ Poisonous Plant Information: Caper Spurge
  6. ^ Local Harvest: Mole Plant Seed
  7. ^ Purdue University: Euphorbia lathyris
  8. ^ Alamy

Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Euphorbia lathyris

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Malpighiales
Familia: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamilia: Euphorbioideae
Tribus: Euphorbieae
Subtribus: Euphorbiinae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: Euphorbia lathyris

Name

Euphorbia lathyris L.

Vernacular names








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