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Mercurialis annua - L.
                 
Common Name Annual Mercury
Family Euphorbiaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards The plant is poisonous, but less so than the perennial M. perennis[4, 65, 66, 76].
Habitats Waste places[17]. A common weed of cultivated soils, but it avoids acid soils[1].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to the Mediterranean. Azores.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Mercurialis annua Annual Mercury


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mercurialis_annua_L_ag1.jpg
Mercurialis annua Annual Mercury
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Mbc
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Mercurialis annua is a ANNUAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, wind.The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats
 Hedgerow;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Oil.
Edible Uses: Oil.

Leaves - cooked[2, 4, 66, 105]. They were at one time quite popular, being used like spinach[4]. The acrid principle is said to be destroyed by thoroughly boiling the leaves[4]. The raw leaves are poisonous[66]. It is probably wise not to eat the leaves of this plant[9].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Emetic;  Emollient;  Homeopathy;  Ophthalmic;  Purgative;  Warts;  Women's complaints.

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[4, 9]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[9]. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, dropsy, diarrhoea and disorders of the gall bladder and liver[9].
Other Uses
Oil.

This species is a potential source of a very good drying oil[61].
Cultivation details
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[4]. It dislikes growing in shady positions. Plants are normally dioecious, though monoecious plants are sometimes found[4]. Male and female plants must normally be grown if seed is required.
Propagation
Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ.

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Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
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Expert comment
 
Author
L.
Botanical References
17
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Margaret Baber Wed Mar 28 2007
This plant is becoming an environmental weed in parts of Melbourne Australia!
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Subject : Mercurialis annua  

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