Dog’s Mercury

Poisonous Poisonous Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer

Finding large swathes of Dog’s Mercury is quite a good indication that the woodland is well established.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Dog’s Mercury, Dog's Cole
Scientific Name Mercurialis perennis
Season Start Mar
Season End Nov
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

Single, serrated, lanceolate shaped and slightly downy the leaves are opposing at regular intervals along the stem.

Male Flowers

The unopened male flowers look like small green pyramids in strings, the opened flowers are pale green/cream with the stamens sticking out from between three triangle ‘leaves’.

Female Flowers

The female flowers are double spheres with tiny ‘petals’ sticking from the top.

Stem

A single, thin, erect stem.

Habitat

Woodland, hedgerow or anywhere shady.

Possible Confusion

This plant is quite distinctive, the main problem with confusion is the accidental picking of the leaves of Dog’s Mercury hidden among wild garlic or other prolific woodland plants.

Smell

Rather unpleasant.

Frequency

Common in established woodland.

Medicinal Uses

This plant has no medicinal use.

Other Facts

Dog’s Mercury is a highly toxic plant in the greater Euphorbia family and the use of the word ‘Dog’s’ refers to the fact that it is not edible or inferior.

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