Euphorbia lathyris (caper spurge)

caper spurge leaves

Caper spurge, paper spurge, moleplant

Euphorbia lathyris is native to the Caucasus (source), but can be found as an introduced species in many other regions. The fruits look like capers but, like the rest of the plant, they are poisonous.

Euphorbia lathyris

This member of the Euphorbiaceae family is an annual or biennial. It dies as soon as its seeds ripen.

Caper spurge grows in shady to sunny places and is often found near gardens. Where it is planted to control moles or voles.

I can say from personal experience that it does not have a deterrent effect on these animals.

Euphorbia lathyris caper spurge

Euphorbia lathyris can grow up to 1.5 metres tall in evenly moist, nutrient-rich soil. In other places it remains smaller. It also grows along roadsides, in gravel paths, between stone joints and even on walls.

caper spurge fruits
The fruits of the caper spurge look remotely similar to capers, but are poisonous.
European mole
This European mole lived in my garden for several years even though several caper spurges were growing there.