Euphorbia lathyris

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Euphorbia lathyris

Caper Spurge
Binomial:Euphorbia lathyris
Type:Herbaceous perennial
Light requirements:Full sun to part shade
USDA Hardiness Zone:5-9
Ripe Seed:Dry out and turn brown
Height and spread:48 inches (1.2 m) tall
Toxicity and edibility:Toxic, sap may cause rashes

Euphorbia lathyris (Caper Spurge, Gopher Spurge, Gopher Plant or Mole Plant) is a weedy plant native to Southern Europe (France, Italy, Greece) and as far east as China, but has naturalized in many other regions. that is often used as an ornamental plant and also to protect a garden from gophers.

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 seem to enjoy eating it and are immune to the toxin. However, the toxin can be passed through the goat's milk.

Description[edit | edit source]

Caper spurge can grow up to 48 inches (1.2 m) tall. The seeds of this plant grow in green clusters of three seeds. When they ripen, they dry out and turn brown.

Growing Conditions[edit | edit source]

It lives in partial shade to full sun in USDA zones 5–9.

Uses[edit | edit source]

Some people have had great success planting caper spurges as repellants for gophers and voles, while others found that gophers will eat other plants only a few feet away while completely ignoring the spurges.

Maintenance[edit | edit source]

Self-seeds freely, but easily pulled.

Pests and Diseases[edit | edit source]

See Euphorbia for a list of pests and diseases affecting the genus.

References[edit | edit source]