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Trying to identify a plant

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We have a plant in the garden that we don't recall ever planting. When it started growing it had spiky shaped leaves and a two tone green colour, which was actually very nice to have in the garden. It has grown at quite a rate in both in height and bulk in a very short space of time; now just under 6 ft?. It now looks very different too. In the middle of each leaf cluster, there is a ball shaped bud and when it first came into bud, we were sure that flowers appear, but this is not the case and the bud only produces more leaves. It is a lovely shrub and has survived very well against a wall that maybe has sun for only part of the day. Today it also started "firing" little seeds across the garden which you can hear going off :-)Any ideas? Thanks.

On plant Unknown




Some type of Euphorbia aka Spurge,
The seeds popwhen ripe and spread everywhere, once you have a plant, you will have them for ever! nice but a bit of a weed sometimes. Irritant sap too as a Euphorbia

2 Aug, 2009


Yes its a euphorbia. And yes, wear gloves when you handle or cut it because some people get a very nasty reaction to the sap.

2 Aug, 2009


If you dont want seedlings of it, pull it up just as you start to hear the pods popping. Its a sound you will easily hear!

2 Aug, 2009


Yes, it is Caper Spurge (Euphorbia lathyris) and it is a biennial species forming a small shoot of densely packed cross ranked leaves the first year, then forms the more typical branching flowering and fruiting phase the second before dying (and seeding prolifically).

It is also reputed to keep moles out of the garden. Something to do with root secretions I think.

2 Aug, 2009

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