The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Euphorbia sieboldiana is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
The sap contains a latex which is toxic on ingestion and highly irritant externally, causing photosensitive skin reactions and severe inflammation, especially on contact with eyes or open cuts. The toxicity can remain high even in dried plant material[
]. Prolonged and regular contact with the sap is inadvisable because of its carcinogenic nature[
E. Asia - China, Japan.
Grassy places and thickets in lowland and mountains all over Japan[
]. Forest floors or forest margins, or marshes on lowland, hills or mountains[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of this country. It is a polymorphic species[
]. Chinese and Korean plants to which the name, Euphorbia sieboldiana has been applied, differ from Japanese one in irregularly toothed but not ciliated lobes of involucres. Moreover, E. sieboldiana in Japan includes three or more well distinct forms which are easily distinguished each other in morphology of rhizomes, leaves and bracteoles and have different distributions and habitats. These may be recognized as distinct species, but further studies are desirable[
]. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Prefers a light well-drained moderately rich loam in an open position[
]. Succeeds in dry soils[
Hybridizes with other members of this genus[
]. The ripe seed is released explosively from the seed capsules[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[
This genus has been singled out as a potential source of latex (for making rubber) for the temperate zone, although no individual species has been singled out[
Stems and leaves - cooked. They are boiled, soaked in water, squeezed and then eaten[
]. Caution is advised, see the notes on toxicity above.
The roots are diuretic and laxative[
]. They are crushed and swallowed with water in the treatment of schistosomiasis-caused ascites, oedema and constipation[
]. This plant is poisonous and should be used with caution, preferably only under the supervision of a qualified herbalist[
Seed - sow spring in a shaded cold frame[
]. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c.