It came with the mulch pile! What thu?


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About a year now, I've had this neat looking plant that came up with some mulch I bought from a local company that shreds yard debris and resells it. It looked familiar when it was small so I decided to keep it until I figured it out. I liked the leaves, striping, texture and when young it had a very strong symmetry to the leaves that looked almost artificial. They grew in perfectly spaced rows and stacked on one another in line. The stripe / veining that runs down the middle of the leaf accentuated it. It's grown quite a bit, up to 32" tall now.

It feels like a succulent, very flexible, watery and breakable for the 99% of it but surprisingly durable. The main stalk has become more stout and woody and as neat as the blooms are they're not very noticeable. The rest of the stems and leaves have a rubbery feel. It's may now,... we had over 2 feet of snow last winter, and it didn't even phase it! It didn't lose a single leaf or break to the weight of the snow - evergreen? It did wilt a little, but barely. I've been waiting for it to bloom, hoping that would give me a clue or photos to help identify it. It finally did, but still no idea. Ha!

I have a second one that came up later, in another location. It's in part sun and not as full or thick, but doing okay. They're very drought tolerant, which I like. Today, I got nervous and cut the blooms off after a couple of weeks, in case it was invasive or end up as a regret later. When I did, it quickly oozed white milky substance like milkweed does. I got some on my hands and tools. It dried fast, like a sticky glue. I washed my hands and trimmers a few times soon as I was done. I haven't experienced any paralysis or kaleidoscopic vision out of the norm yet, so I think I'm okay.... so far. :)

I was hoping the think tank here could help me identify this plant? I have a second one that came up later, in another location. Do you all think I should I keep them or rip it out a.s.a.p? I'm so curious if I can keep it, how big will it get? What to expect? Poisonous for dogs, birds or people? Invasive roots or expect suckers?

Thanks for your time either way!
 

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zigs

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Looks like one of the Spurge family. They have poisonous sap so be careful how you handle it :)
 
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Yep! That's definitely it,...thank you very much! I found they even use it for making pest control, powder or liquid. Reading up on it, I found it's also known as a mole plant. Saying it repels moles, but no one really knows why and says it could just be folk lore. I'd assume that if a mole dug into the roots they could encounter a flow of that sap and not take a liking to it. That's my best guess anyway. T keep moles out of our garden, we used to plant mint weed as a border when I was young. They don't like it. And if they try to dig though it, it's fumes drive them away in such an enclosed space as a tunnel. The internet says this Caper Purge is poisonous to humans, dogs, cats & children etc, Also, once established it's difficult to get rid of by root and seeds. There are garden places that sell them, makes me wonder how many they actually sell? Ha! It's safe to say I'll be removing it soon,....darn. Thank you all so much for the help!! Have a great day.
 

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