Poisonous Plants, Caper Spurge (Euphorbia lathyris)

My mystery plant turned out to be Caper Spurge. It is a garden escapee on both coasts but I have never noticed it before.

Caper Spurge

Caper Spurge

Although it has a reputation for repelling moles and voles, it is very toxic to people and pets.  I will keep it because it is pretty and evergreen during my tough winter.  Maybe it repels deer, rabbit, and even voles and moles.  Look, don’t touch.

Caper Spurge 2

Caper Spurge 2

Caper Spurge is a biennial, occassionally an annual, but this is my plant’s third year.  It is setting a lot of seed, so I may get a colony next year.  I have three right now.

Although used historically for several medicinal purposes, and as a poison to kill people, it is no longer recommended. It is said to have anti-tumor properties, and has been effective against acute lymphocytic and granulocytic leukemia,  and further studies need to be done.

Caper Spurge is an attractive toxin, do not eat it!


About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
This entry was posted in gardening, medicinal plants, permaculture, plant uses, poisonous plants, Prepper and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Poisonous Plants, Caper Spurge (Euphorbia lathyris)

  1. Helen says:

    It has for better or worse found its way to my shores. Always good to know about what might turn up in the garden.

  2. Helen,
    I laughed when poisoning someone was it’s number one use.

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