Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Spurge deters badgers?

Posted on by royvickery |

025In a recent conversation a Somerton, Somerset, woman told how she used a spurge (Euphorbia sp.) to deter badgers from her garden:      

 ‘When I had badgers in my garden someone told me to get wild spurge.  The white sap in the plant stings the badgers’ noses and they go away.                                  It’s a spiky plant; I had some when I moved in three years ago, but had none last year, there are some this year.  You have to keep breaking the stems to expose the sap.’

The description of the plant as ‘spiky’ and apparently annual suggests that it might be caper spurge (Euphorbia lathyris).

Any comments or further records would be much appreciated.

Image:   caper spurge, Crewkerne, Somerset; January 2014.

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