New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: N/A
Euphorbia lathyris is an annual herb that grows erect to about 1.2 metres high with a glaucous blue-green stem. It has a sticky, milky-white, latex sap. All parts of the plant are poisonous to humans and most livestock.
The lower leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, lanceolate 50 - 150mm long and 10 - 25mm wide, glaucous blue-green with a waxy texture and pale greenish-white midrib and veins. Upper leaves are broader.
The flowers are green to yellow-green, 4mm in diameter with no petals, monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female) but both genders occur on the same plant. Pollination is by flies. Bracts are oval-triangular, pointed, bright green. The seeds are green ripening to brown or grey, produced in globular clusters 13 - 17mm in diameter of three seeds compressed together.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader