Day 111: dog's mercury

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year

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This is Dog’s mercury (Mercurialis perennis). Fond of shady glades, it appears in early spring often in the company of new hellebore leaves, which it attempts rather sneakily to mimic. Three weeks later it’s run amok thanks to its fiendish creeping rhizomes. You think you have a ground elder problem? I’ll happily trade you for an infestation of dogs mercury – you can at least eat ground elder. Dog’s mercury is of the spurge family, with all the disadvantages of euphorbia (poisonous, irritant sap) but none of the benefits (groovy exotic bracts). Fie on it, I say. You have been warned. 


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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.

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