Mole Plant, Euphorbia lathyris
Euphorbiaceae or Spurge Family

Plant Large compact, branched plant, about 3 feet tall. Lower lLeaves in whorls of four around stem, upper leaves in pairs. All leaves lance-shaped to long triangular, untoothed and unstalked. Flowers in cluster at bases of leaf pairs, plant often branching at the flowers. Flowers are very small, several male and one female in each cluster. Female flower stalked, 3 parted, melon-shaped. Swells to become the melon-shaped, about half-inch fruit. Flower cluster surrounded by small orange glands. Blooms in summer.

Introduced from Europe in the probably mistaken belief that it repelled moles. Often planted for ornament, and sometimes escaping to waste places. Rare in Wildwood, but sometimes seen along the edges, especially near the cell tower and water tanks.

A distinctive plant unlikely to be mistaken for anything else.



Female flower