Assessing the cropping and weediness potential of two potentially new oilseed species in southern Ontario: Euphorbia lagascae and Centrapalus pauciflorus
Euphorbia lagascae and Centrapalus pauciflorus naturally produce vernolic acid, a plasticizer. 2014 field trials conducted at Simcoe and Guelph, Ontario show they perform best when seeded early in well-drained soil. Low field establishment rates and reduced flowering from late seeding lead to lower yields (59.82-319.21 kg/ha for C. pauciflorus and 1180.61-2796.00 kg/ha for E. lagascae). The low persistence of seeds in the soil and poor ability to establish a seedbank limit their potential as weeds. Plants that established in unmanaged areas did not produce viable seeds and are unlikely to become feral. Although their competitive ability is similar to that of pigweed, they are unlikely to achieve the high densities of pigweed infestation and appear as weeds. Domestication is unlikely to lead to the production of an invasive weed. Efforts need to be devoted to breeding robust germplasms and determining the best agronomic practices to achieve high yields in Ontario.