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Tall, 5-6 foot tall plant with a smooth green stem with some light purple mottling. Oblong, lanceolate leaves with smooth/dull texture above and below. Note: the bottom rung of leaves had sparse spines on their undersides and were lobed. Thick, bitter smelling (and tasting) milk oozed from the stem when pierced. Tightly packed inflorescence later blossomed into multiple small yellow flowers. Flowers were resinous/sticky to the touch. Young, tender leaves are edible--and "milk" has medicinal (pain-relieving properties).
Edge of mixed hardwood forest (in an open field) in nearly full sun. Nearby: loblolly pine, dogwood, buckthorn trees
Spotted on Jul 7, 2017
Submitted on Jul 7, 2017