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Uses

Toxic parts

The plant is poisonous, but less so than the perennial M. perennis[1][2][3][4].

Edible uses

Notes

Leaves - cooked[5][1][3][6]. They were at one time quite popular, being used like spinach[1]. The acrid principle is said to be destroyed by thoroughly boiling the leaves[1]. The raw leaves are poisonous[3]. It is probably wise not to eat the leaves of this plant[7].

Leaves

Material uses

This species is a potential source of a very good drying oil[8].

Unknown part

Oil

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The whole plant, and especially the juice, is emetic, emollient and purgative. It is used externally to treat women's complaints, ear and eye problems, warts and sores[1][7]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[7]. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, dropsy, diarrhoea and disorders of the gall bladder and liver[7].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Mercurialis annua. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

A common garden weed in Britain, it should need little encouragement. When well suited, it tends to spread itself around too freely for most people's tastes[1]. It dislikes growing in shady positions. Plants are normally dioecious, though monoecious plants are sometimes found[1]. Male and female plants must normally be grown if seed is required.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Mercurialis annua. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Mercurialis annua.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Mercurialis annua
Genus
Mercurialis
Family
Euphorbiaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.41.51.61.71.8 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Freethy. R. From Agar to Zenery. The Crowood Press ISBN 0-946284-51-2 (1985-00-00)
    4. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.5 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    9. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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