Plant identification

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Tweetypie
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Plant identification

Post by Tweetypie » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:20 pm

I wonder if anyone can help. I saw these plants appear in cracks in the patio and in the borders last year. I pulled them all out, but they reappeared soon after and have survived every bit of frost! A few have also set in my border. I uprooted one, it took some time as the stem was so thick.

They seems to grown very tall and don't appear to need water, sunshine or soil.

The plant leaves a milky residue if you break the stem or leaf and it smells like sick. I have washed my hands three times, but the smell is still there.
I donwloaded a plant app, but it thinks it is a houseplant!

Can anyone help?
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MrsBiscuit
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Re: Plant identification

Post by MrsBiscuit » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:36 pm

Its a form of euphorbia, I am pretty sure its the common caper spurge which will form seed pods which ripen and burst open in the summer, particularly in the sun, throwing the seed far and wide - hence they keep cropping up!

The milky sap is an irritant to the skin, you should wear gloves when dealing with the plant. All euphorbias are like this, with a milky sap, but more highly bred variants are much better behaved and don't spread like weeds. I really like euphorbia as a family, but I know they aren't for everyone. In fact, looking at your rockery, I think you have some, although I can't quite see properly - the dark green plants to the left and right, and right behind. Also, there looks to be a different one slowly uncurling itself upright just behind and to the right, although again I can't quite see.

Very nice rockery in any case!
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Tweetypie
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Re: Plant identification

Post by Tweetypie » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:42 pm

Oh thank you Mrs Biscuit. I do have some other type of Euphorbia, with more rounded leaves. I tried to get rid of it last year, but it is like an ever growing weed. I hate it. It takes over everything. I have just read about the toxic sap, which if it gets into your eyes, can cause serious problems. I think I might get someone in to get rid of it all. Don't want to take any risks, what with all the trouble I have had with the IOL's. Thanks again :-)
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Marigold
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Re: Plant identification

Post by Marigold » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:30 pm

Euphorbia lathryis, or mole plant, see https://www.victoriananursery.co.uk/Mole_Plant/
If you should ever feel you actually need more of them, they're not very expensive to buy!
It looks as if you (or your gardener) would just have to have a determined drive to uproot them as they appear, and above all, to stop any of them going to seed. Even letting one plant go to seed will continue the problem the next year, and actually some of the seeds may well stay dormant in the soil until conditions allow them to germinate. I don't think spraying them is likely to sort the problem any better than simply weeding them out, and of course it would have an environmental impact, on your health as well as the garden inhabitants. Agree about the potentially toxic sap, plastic or latex gloves under gardening gloves will help you avoid touching the stems or leaves, but you have to be very careful not to touch your face with the outer gloves on.
bigyetiman
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Re: Plant identification

Post by bigyetiman » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:30 pm

Definitely Euphorbia, and a devil to get rid of if you let it seed. Been there, done that.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Plant identification

Post by Tweetypie » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:17 pm

The spikey ones appeared last year and luckily I uprooted them before they spread too far. Ive only got 4 of those left, so will set to dig them out tomorrow. Now the other variety, that is a different matter. My husband, God bless him, last year told me to leave them in the border as he thought they were lovely... excuse me, lovely? No flowers, no scent :-) I went behind his back and dug out many of them, but hey presto, there's an abundance of them in my rockery, springing up everywhere :-( I'm not sure I want the task, although I guess with thick gloves and cycling goggles, I might attempt it. What a vision I will be :lol:
Margaid
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Re: Plant identification

Post by Margaid » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:03 pm

Can't look worse than I do with safety specs, bright yellow helmet with mesh visor and ear muffs - and that's just for the leaf blower!
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Marigold
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Re: Plant identification

Post by Marigold » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:30 pm

Margaid wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:03 pm
Can't look worse than I do with safety specs, bright yellow helmet with mesh visor and ear muffs - and that's just for the leaf blower!
Photo, please!
Margaid
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Re: Plant identification

Post by Margaid » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:09 am

No good at selfies!
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Plant identification

Post by Hen-Gen » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:10 am

Ah weeds!
Now I know that down south Japanese knotweed is a thing only less one degree than a rampaging triffid. But up here it is an ornamental garden plant that seldom spreads beyond where it is planted. Two years ago someone came up from London to look at a potential holiday cottage but refused to buy it because there was a clump of knotweed in the garden.
As you can imagine the locals here were able to indulge their favourite hobby ‘ie gaffing at the southmouthers’.
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