T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Euphorbia platyphyllos (Broad leaved spurge)

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: E. platyphyllos
Binominal name: Euphorbia platyphyllos 
Synonyms: Galarhoeus platyphyllos, Tithymalus platyphyllos, Euphorbia platyphylla
Common name: Broad-leaved spurge, Broadleaf spurge

Warning: The milky sap or latex of Euphorbia plant is highly toxic and an irritant to the skin and eye. It the multitude of di- and triterpenes. People who handle Euphorbia plants should wear eye and skin protection. Invisible vapours of the sap can cause discomfort, you should provide for adequate aeration.
Visit http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/plants-toxic-if-eaten-by-man.html

Euphorbia platyphyllos is a species of an annual flowering plant native to Macaronesia and the Mediterranean to the Caucasus.
It is now a weed in areas where it has been introduced such as North America, South America, Africa and Oceania. It is common from the Waikato north.
Its habitats are anthropogenic areas (man-made or disturbed habitats), wet grasslands ditches, crop margins, stony riverbeds. It can grow up to 1000 m.a.s.l.
It is an erect plant with hairy stems that can reach 80 cm in height. The pointed leaves (20-50 x 6-10 mm) are oblong-lanceolate or obovate and are hairy on the undersides. The leaves margins are finely serrate.
When damaged the plant will release a viscous, milky, white sap that is poisonous and will cause symptoms like skin and eye irritation, nausea and itchiness.

Euphorbia platyphyllos green capsules

Euphorbia platyphyllos stem hairs

Euphorbia platyphyllos milky sap

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0