Caper Spurge SEEDS (Euphorbia lathyris) biennial
This is a handsome native plant, excellent for the wild garden, with erect stems bearing symmetrically arranged, narrow, blue-green leaves with umbels of tiny, strange, yellowish flowers in summer. This is the plant with the reputation of keeping moles at bay. However, as one encyclopaedia puts it, "this species often reproduces itself from self-sown seedlings." And how! You may well be inviting the moles back in a few years! 3ft (90cm)
Sow indoors. Surface sow onto moist well-drained seed compost. Just cover with vermiculite. Ideal temp. 15-18°C. Germination can be slow and erratic, taking from 2 weeks to several months. If germination does not occur cold stratify. Move to 4°C for 3 months then return to warmth. Ensure compost is moist at all times. Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle to 8cm pots and grow on. Acclimatise and plant out with 50cm spacing. Can be sown directly in autumn where overwintering should offer the natural cold/ warmth conditions required for germination.
Prefers a well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Water well but allow to dry between waterings.
Deadhead or cut to shape to avoid self-seeding. Will self-seed freely, but excess seedlings are easily removed.
Please note all parts of the plant of all Euphorbia species are toxic if ingested. The sap can also cause skin irritation so care should be taken when handling the plants.