Plant ID forum: Gopher Spurge (Euphorbia lathyris)

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mrbrownthumbs
Sep 15, 2011 10:02 AM CST
Please help me identify the following bulbs I planted in my garden earlier this year?

I bought some "tulip" bulbs from a local farmers market about this time last year and didn't get round to planting them till VERY late (I think they went in in April, not the October date as advised by the vendor).

I know I bought some dwarf versions as well as the "full sized" ones which accounts for the height differences.

However, all the bulbs have come up blind, however not flowered.

No one seems to know what they actually are other than they're clearly not Tulips.

One person has advised to dig them all out as otherwise they'll spread like "wildfire" and be like day of the triffids! Others have advised either thinning them out or leaving them to see if they flower next year....also seeing as they deffinately are a bulb will they spread if they haven't flowered? Please forgive my ignorance, I'm new to this whole gardening thing...hence the username!!

Has anyone got any idea what it is that I've planted - they've got a very nice frond form, however they'd be nicer if they'd flowered!!

Thanks in advance,


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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Sep 15, 2011 12:21 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

You're right that it's not a tulip. Smiling

The foliage is striking.

I don't know what it is, but I'm going to move this thread to the Plant ID forum where it has a better chance of being identified.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Sep 15, 2011 1:53 PM CST
mrbrownthumbs: I'm not sure what plant you have there either. The foliage first reminded me of Nerium Oleander but not the growth habit. Can you give more information about the leaves? Are they succulent like, soft and hairy/fuzzy, any thorns along the stems?
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Sep 15, 2011 2:28 PM CST
Fritillaria?

Karen
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Sep 15, 2011 2:37 PM CST
I think Karen may be onto something ... check out some of these images of Fritillaria:

http://www.google.com/search?q=Fritillaria+persica&hl=en&biw...
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Sep 15, 2011 2:39 PM CST

Moderator

I think I know what this is. It looks like Euphorbia lathyris, more commonly known as Gopher Spurge.

It's not a very attractive plant and it will spread, but wear gloves if you plan to pull it out. Some people get a nasty rash from handling it.

It's sold in nurseries here as a gopher repellant, but it isn't. It just isn't very tasty to them, so they eat everything else and leave it for last. It doesn't protect other plants from gophers.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Sep 15, 2011 3:16 PM CST
LOL, I am sooo not good at comparing photo's! It indeed appears to be Euphorbia lathyris:

http://www.google.com/search?q=euphorbia+lathyris&hl=en&biw=...

http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/ephla.htm

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/55261/#b

Thanks zuzu!

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
[Last edited by plantladylin - Sep 15, 2011 10:17 AM (+)]
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Sep 15, 2011 3:46 PM CST
Definitely looks like that euphorbia.

Karen

mrbrownthumbs
Sep 16, 2011 1:55 AM CST
Thanks for the info peeps - I agree it definately looks like Euphorbia lathyris and based on what I've read I'll be digging them all out this weekend wearing a bio-hazzard suit - I'm just thanksful that they don't appear to have flowered so hopefully they won't become a nightmare for years to come!!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Sep 16, 2011 8:37 PM CST
It is gopher spurge in the younger stage. And it really does keep the gophers away from your bulbs that the gophers love to eat. I let them stay in areas I need to protect from gophers. The stray plants are easily pulled roots and all. You can keep them for reseeding by cutting off the blooms.

mrbrownthumbs
Sep 19, 2011 6:23 AM CST
Thanks, however as I live in the UK and have never seen a ghoper with my eyes I've dug them all out - hop that I've cleared the lot but fear that I'll be seeing them for years to come!!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 19, 2011 1:20 PM CST
It will also keep away moles, shrew and such. It is the toxins in the root systems to repel them. : )

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