Ex­plod­ing ca­per spurge

Garden Answers (UK) - - Problems Solved -

Q This plant is tak­ing over my rock­ery – can I dump it in my com­post bin? M BRAM­LEY, NOT­TING­HAM

A Your plant is Euphor­bia lath­yris, also known as ca­per spurge. It’s bi­en­nial, so af­ter flow­er­ing and pro­duc­ing seeds it will die down. When pulling it out, wear gloves be­cause the sap is an ir­ri­tant, but it won’t do much harm in the com­post heap. How­ever, be­cause the seed is ejected ex­plo­sively from the three-lobed pur­ple cap­sules, help­ing the plant spread quickly around the gar­den, keep a look­out for new seedlings. Hoe them off or pull them out as soon as you see them. It’s also worth spread­ing a thick mulch of bark chip­pings or com­post to pre­vent any new seeds from ger­mi­nat­ing.

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