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.
Annual plant (no rhizomes); stems often branched; stems and leaves glabrous or nearly so; different habitat to perennial dog's mercury, which is a shade-lover.
Photograph of plant in its habitat with details of leaves and stems
Disturbed and waste places, cultivated ground, particularly in allotments and gardens, rubbish tips, walls, and roadsides, thriving on light, nutrient-rich soils.
Flowering July to October.
Annual. Male and female flowers on separate plants.
Previously mainly recorded from southern and eastern England but believed to be spreading to other areas of Britain.
Infrequent but possibly increasing in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 14 of the 617 tetrads.
In the current checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Alien (archaeophyte); scarce
It is on the VC55 Rare Plant Register
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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