Annual Mercury - Mercurialis annua


    Short to medium hairless, or slightly hairy plant. Stems branched from the base. Leaves oval to lanceolate, toothed and short stalked. Female flowers few, 3 to 4 mm in small axillary clusters. Fruit 2 to 3 mm, bristly. 

    Photo ID?

    Disturbed and waste places, cultivated ground, particularly in allotments and gardens, rubbish tips, walls, and roadsides, thriving on light, nutrient-rich soils.

    When to see it

    Flowering July to October.

    Life History

    Annual. Male and female flowers on separate plants.

    UK Status

    Previously mainly recorded from southern and eastern England but believed to be spreading to other areas of Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Infrequent but possibly increasing in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 14 of the 617 tetrads.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map