Weed Identification - Knowledgebase Question

Eugene, OR
Avatar for gairag
Question by gairag
October 1, 1999
My mother recently moved into a new house in Portland, OR and was weeding her front parkway when she discovered a tall (about 4 feet), greyish green weed. It has spear shaped leaves arranged in opposing pairs up the stem and 3 part seeds (or seed pods, maybe). When she hacked it off, the milky sap that landed on her skin caused red welts that appear to be chemical burns and persisted a couple of weeks. I am thinking that the plant may be in the poinsetta family. Could you provide an identification? Thanks!

Answer from NGA
October 1, 1999
With irritating milky juice, it's probably in the Euphorbia family, perhaps leafy spurge. But, without seeing the flowers, it's difficult to positively identify. You might want to take a sample to your local Extension office for absolute identification. Reach Master Gardeners at Oregon State University Cooperative Extension, 950 W 13th Ave., Eugene 97402. Phone (541) 687-4243.

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