Euphorbia helioscopia (Scientific name)

General poisoning notes:

Sun spurge (Euphorbia helioscopia) is a naturalized herb occasionally found in southern Canada. The latex contains a strong irritant that causes burning and swelling in animals that ingest it. Sheep were poisoned and a human child died after ingesting the plant. This plant can cause irritation to livestock that ingestion it.

References:

  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Euphorbia helioscopia L.
Vernacular name(s):
sun spurge
Scientific family name:
Euphorbiaceae
Vernacular family name:
spurge

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Euphorbia helioscopia

References:

  • Agriculture Quebec. 1975. Noms des maladies des plantes du Canada/ Names of plant diseases in Canada. , Quebec City, Que., Canada. 288 pp.
  • Alex, J. F., Cayouette, R., Mulligan, G. A. 1980. Common and botanical names of weeds in Canada/Noms populaire et scientifiques des plantes nuisibles du Canada. Revised. Agric. Can. Publ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada. 132 pp.
  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Scoggan, H. J. 1978, 1979. The flora of Canada. Nat. Mus. Nat. Sci. (Ottawa) Publ. Bot. 7(1)-7(4). 1711 pp.
  • Van Wijk, H. L. 1911. A dictionary of plant names. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands. 1444 pp.
  • Victorin, M. 1964. Flore Laurentienne. 2nd ed. Univ. Montreal, Montreal, Que., Canada. 952 pp.

Geographic Information

Plant or plant parts used in or around the home.

References:

  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Boivin, B. 1966, 1967. Énumération des plantes du Canada. Provencheria 6. Nat. Can. (Que.) 93: 253-274; 371-437; 583-646; 989-1063. 94: 131-157; 471-528; 625-655.

Image or illustration

Images: Euphorbia helioscopia - Google Search

Toxic parts:

  • latex

References:

  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • 12-deoxyphorbol

References:

  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.
  • Frohne, D., Pfander, H. J. 1983. A colour atlas of poisonous plants. Wolfe Publishing Ltd., London, England. 291 pp.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.

Humans

Sheep

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

In Britain, sheep that had ingested sun spurge experienced severe swelling and inflammation of the mouth, diarrhea, and salivation. The animals recovered fully when moved to new pasture that did not contain this plant (Cooper and Johnson 1984). One of two children died after sucking the juice of sun spurge. Symptoms included burning of the mouth, esophagus, and stomach, salivation, vomiting, narrowing of the pupils, and lung edema. One child went into a coma before death (Cooper and Johnson 1984).

References:

  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.

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