What is Euphorbia lathyris ?

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.

 

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.[

Euphorbia_lathyris

Chemical characteristics

All parts of the plant, including the seeds and roots are poisonous. Handling 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.[

Habitat

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

Medicinal uses

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

Features

The mole plant grows up to 3 feet tall and has leaves that measure up to 6 inches long. Its leaves and fleshy stem contain latex. Its greenish-yellow cup-shaped flowers bloom in the spring and produce 3-inch lobed fruits.

Benefits

The mole plant may be a future source of alternative fuel. According to the Oregon State University Extension Service, estimates suggest that one acre of this crop could produce 10 to 50 barrels of oil each year. In the garden, the flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Read more: http://www.ebiochem.com/product/uphorbia-lathyris-seed-extrac-13381

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