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Caper Spurge

Euphorbia lathyris

Plant Data

Order:
Malpighiales
Family:
Euphorbiaceae (Spurge)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
2 large yellowish-green pointed leaf-like outer bracts reaching as much as 7cm wide.
Fruit:
Large 3-sided fruit. Caper Spurge is named for its fruit as they are said to resemble capers.
Leaves:
Greyish-green, lanceolate leaves. The uppermost leaves are the broadest. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs.
Maximum Size:
2 meters tall.
Foraging Notes:
All parts of this plant are poisonous. The milky sap contains latex which is toxic to humans and animals and handling it can cause skin irritation, or photosensitive skin reactions. Even after the plant has been dried out, toxicity levels remain high and regular contact with this plant is highly inadvisable because of its carcinogenic nature.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Aroma:
Sometimes this plant is called a Mole Plant or Gopher Plant because the sap that exudes from the roots gives off a smell which is said to repel moles.
Other Names:
Gopher Plant, Gopher Spurge, Leafy Spurge, Mole Plant, Myrtle Spurge, Paper Spurge, Petroleum Plant.
Habitats:
Farmland, gardens, grassland, marshes, meadows, roadsides, sand dunes, scrub, seaside, wasteland, woodland.