Annual mercury – Mercurialis annua

Mercurialis annua

Mercurialis annua

Mercurialis annua (annual mercury) is an annual, dioecious plant that reproduces through seeds. It has an unpleasant scent and it is very toxic.

Common name: annual mercury.


The stem is vertical. It normally has branches that start from its base, with blunted angles, that are a bit dense in the knot areas. The height of the stem is 40-50 cm.

Mercurialis annua - plant

The cotyledons are robust, wide to oval-rounded, slightly wider at tips. The color of the cotyledons is light green with white veins that are lightly branched. The halves of the leaves are inequal most of the times.

Mercurialis annua - cotyledon

The real leaves are opposing, with petioles, oval to elongated. Their color is light green. The leaves are irregularly laced and it has thorny margins. The first real leaves are slightly lobed and normally hairy.

The flower is formed of yellow-green flowers. The male flowers are grouped as flower heads with long petioles. The female flowers are usually placed on the leaf’s axilla (one or 2 growing from the same spot).

Mercurialis annua - flower

Mercurialis annua - flower details

The germination period is usually late spring.

How to fight this pest plant

The herbicides that are recommended when fighting the annual mercury are: Adengo, Buctril Universal, Dicopur D, Goal 4 F, Merlin Duo.

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