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19 messages
19/02/2014 at 16:31

Hi everyone I have this plant suddenly appeared last summer now there are 8, i googled it and its very toxic to humans and livestock but good for deterring moles. It can grow up to 4feet high, think it will have to be binned before it gets that high but how would i dispose of it if toxic, could it be thrown into the green garden bin that gets collected, aas the sap is very bad when on skin and clothes.

19/02/2014 at 16:32

19/02/2014 at 16:33

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/37841.jpg?width=512&height=350&mode=max

 

this is a picture

19/02/2014 at 16:37

jill, have you clicked on the tree icon? That will enable you to post your image. BUT some devices do not seem able to post images directly.

19/02/2014 at 16:39

Ah Hah; it has just appeared. Sorry, it looks familiar but can't think of the name; someone else will I'm sure

19/02/2014 at 16:39

Hi Jill, 

Never herd of this plant before so just googled it - very interesting.  We have had several threads on this forum on how to deter moles so perhaps those who are troubled by moles could plant these.  Then the problem arises what to do with the toxic plants so you are between the devil and the deep blue sea - moles or euphorbia?   

19/02/2014 at 16:43

It will be fine to dispose of it with normal garden waste or compost heap

19/02/2014 at 16:45

In answer to your question you would be Ok to put it in your green garden collection bin, but be careful you don't get any sap in your eyes and keep your skin covered until it is safely in the bin.

19/02/2014 at 16:48

Have just looked it up; euphorbia lathyrus. When you compost toxic plant matter, like the leaves of rhubarb, they cease to be toxic. Also, quite a lot of pretty garden plants are fairly toxic. I have a monk's hood which is very poisonous, but I manage to resist eating it. I guess it becomes a problem when you have small children as I know as a child I used to love eating the new growth on privet hedges.

19/02/2014 at 17:15

We had it growing in our garden when I was a child - loads of it.  The only time it ever caused a problem was when I became older and Ma gave me an area of the garden for myself - at the age of about 9 I decided I didn't like the spurge (euphorbia) so pulled it out - the sap got on my skin and the sun was shining and a short while later huge red  wheals appeared on my arms and legs - they were treated with calamine.  I survived 

It is a dramatic looking plant in the right place, and I wouldn't hesitate to give it a home in my garden now, if I had the right spot.  

Just be careful, if you do pull it up, wear strong rubber gloves and long sleeves, and probably best to do it on an overcast day. 

19/02/2014 at 18:02

Looks like the caper spurge (euphorbia) - yes avoid the sap if any of the stems snap, it's also very sticky and will glue the blades of your secateurs together if you try to cut it down - best to pull it out roots and all.

If you are lucky enough (?) to get the caterpillar it is very pretty!

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/37858.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

 

19/02/2014 at 18:25

What a lovely caterpillar gg

What is it?

19/02/2014 at 20:22

Thanks Nutcutlet - it appeared on a euphorbia in my Languedoc garden last year and after searching the internet for caterpillar images to identify I finally searched for "caterpillar on Euphorbia" and there it was - the Euphorbia Hawk Moth!  It spent about five days on one plant before vanishing, and without doing that much damage to the euphorbia either.

19/02/2014 at 21:02
gardenning granny wrote (see)

Thanks Nutcutlet - it appeared on a euphorbia in my Languedoc garden last year and after searching the internet for caterpillar images to identify I finally searched for "caterpillar on Euphorbia" and there it was - the Euphorbia Hawk Moth!  It spent about five days on one plant before vanishing, and without doing that much damage to the euphorbia either.

Yet another reason for growing the Caper Spurge 

19/02/2014 at 23:15

It's lovely, I've never seen one of those, or its moth

22/07/2014 at 21:46

Hiya everyone, The mole plants are now quite tall, managed to mpve them under the trees so fairly out of the way, they are full of buds do they flower? thanks

22/07/2014 at 22:10

I'm surprised they haven't flowered by now jill

22/07/2014 at 23:05

They are wild euphorbias, they keep popping up here and they grow quite big in the limestoney paddock but if they are meant to keep moles away then they don't work. Moles take no notice of them.

23/07/2014 at 10:46

I don't have any moles and I have quite a few varieties of euphorbia.  I once grew one called Jimmy Platt (seeds from Chiltern) which gave off the scent of fresh coffee on hot days.  The big plus in the tall ones is that they tend to flower early spring/late winter when not much else is happening in the graden.  It could be Chariacus, which are stunning.  They self seed abundantly which is why they do so well in the wild.  Wear gloves and just pull out the ones you don't want as soon as you see them.  When they get big they have thick deep tap roots and are harder to remove.  Remove flowered stems once finished (again with gloves) - and take care, the sap is thick and gluey so you'll need to clean the loppers carefully.

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