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Is this plant a killer?


 
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PaulD
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:10 am    Post subject: Is this plant a killer? Reply with quote

I have a few plants that appear to be slowly dying and amongst them one that is seemingly doing ok. I'm wondering if it is killing off the others. I took a sample to a local plant shop and the owner said he'd never seen that plant before - probably a weed, get rid of it. But it is an impressive plant so I wouldn't want to get rid of it if not necessary.
when taking a sample I had to cut it as it is too soft to snap and it produces copious while milky sap, which I understand is sometimes not a good sign.
does anyone know what it is and is it safe?



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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it looks like a euphorbia, and the milky white sap would be typical of euphorbias.

if i'm right - find a new plant shop, because euphorbia is a common plant. how someone running a plant shop wouldn't recognise it is odd. but it's not a weed, unless you don't want it.

also - the sap can be a mild skin irritant for some people.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a Euphorbia alright, medieval knievel.
PaulD, plants that kill off or supress other plants are know as allelopathic plants.
Many will do this by letting loose plant harming chemicals from their leaf litter, fallen seeds, or from their roots.
Commonly known allelopathic plants are the walnut tree, certain Eucalypthus, and certain pines.

Here is a study done on the allelopathic nature of Euphorbia plants....... http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-83582013000300024

I hope it helps.

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PaulD
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah yes - now on searching I'd say it is almost certainly euphorbia mellifera. I don't suppose it is toxic to other plants is it? If not, I need to find some other culprit.
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PaulD
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah- I posted before reading that last post. So it looks like the plant is probably not a problem on reading that article as the plants I have around it are more robust than crops and have been growing alongside it for many years now - I only had the house 5 years but it was well established when we got the house.

I wonder what's killing them off then? 3 different shrubs all ailing so far.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

might be worth posting pics of those - there are some people on here who may be able to tell you if it's stress or disease.
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PaulD
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I already had to remove one bush which I've no pictures of but here are some of the two others beside it - one is clearly browning and shrivelling, the other you might see a sort of discoloration in the upper right area


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Margo
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like wind damage to me
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you removed some large plant or structure nearby, PaulD? It does look like physical damage and if you are making changes to the garden you might inadvertently reduce shelter or increase a 'wind tunnel' effect.
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PaulD
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no - nothing's changed around there since we bought the house 5 years ago. There has been a lot of wind lately of course but I'm not convinced. I had to take a large shrub out because it slowly died. just went brown and shrivelled up (the leaves) to the point where it was absolutely lifeless. And that was over a period of maybe 3 months. At the time the other bush looked maybe a bit stressed bit ok. Since I took the other bush out this one is slowly going brown the same way.
It looks to me like something is poisoning them but as I say, nothing has changed in the 5 yrs we have been here - except they've got bigger.

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any smell of heating oil when you disturb the soil, could be a leak in the locality?
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A possible Honey fungus infestation perhaps........ http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about1697.html
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PaulD
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmm - looks like it might be - I'll check when I get the chance.
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