WSU Clark County Extension

PNW Plants Searchable, categorized images

Mole Plant

Scientific name: Euphorbia lathyris

Type:Annuals and Biennials
Plant Requirements
Zone:1 to 11
Sun:Partial shade
Plant Characteristics
Height:3 ft
Width:1 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:April to May
Bloom Color:Yellow
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description The Mole Plant (also known as Caper Spurge, Gopher Spurge or Gopher Plant) is a garden annual or biennial that is mistakenly thought to repel moles or pocket gophers.

This plant is considered an annual herb or biennial. The stems are erect and fleshy. When cut they exude milky latex. A mature plant can attain a height of 1’-3’ with the width of one foot.

Leaves are 2 ½” to 6” long and ¼” to 1” wide. Leaves are arranged in an opposite fashion at the top of the plant.

Flowers are green to greenish yellow in color. Flowers are cup shaped.

Flowers give rise to fruit which are classified as globose capsules which are coarsely wrinkled and 2”-4” long. Capsules have 3 lobes.

All parts of this plant are poisonous. Human symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea when ingested. If one comes in contact with the plant skin will turn red and swell.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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