Is this plant Euphorbia Lathyris and is it dangerous?

Asked April 15, 2020, 9:17 AM EDT

Several gardeners in our community garden have a plant they call the "Mole" plant as they believe it to repel moles. The plant appears to me to Euphorbia Lathyris. My question is whether it is whether it is in fact Euphorbia Lathyris and, if so, is it sufficiently poisonous to humans that it should be removed from the community garden?

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

3 Responses

It does resemble Euphorbia lathyris, which is touted as having that benefit, though we cannot be sure of its ID while not in flower. You could ask if anyone using nearby plots has sown seeds of flowers for cutting or some other purpose. This Euphorbia is unsafe it consumed, though we have not encountered reports of it being dangerous otherwise (though sap from plants in this family has been known to irritate skin). Still, if it is inedible and growing in a collection of edible plants, it would be best to remove it lest someone accidentally harvest it (seeds have been mistakenly collected for pickling as capers). Used gloves to pull it up and dispose of it.

Miri

Thanks for your answer. The plant is in bloom now. The first picture is a close-up of the bloom and the second is a side view of a 60 inch plant that is in bloom. Is the plant Euphorbia lathyris?

thanks for your help.

It does seem like a match: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/euphorbia-lathyris/.
We suggest pulling it out soon before seeds have time to ripen and be dispersed. You should use gloves and dispose of the pieces rather than composting them to avoid contact with the sap.

Miri