Well, Mercurialis annua has nothing to do with mercury a.k.a. quicksilver.
This poisonous weed commemorates Girolamo Mercuriali (Latinized name Hieronymus Mercurialis ) September 30, 1530 – November 13, 1606) Italian philologist and physician.
His book titled De Arte Gymnastica Libri Sex (Venice, 1569) is an outstanding milestone in the history of medical sciences in which for example he laid down the first stepping stone leading to our present day physicotherapy and sports medicine, he wrote the first book on women’s diseases and pregnancy, the first one on diseases of babies and so on.
He also scored a “first” by enjoying a never-heard-of-before, astronomical sums income ….
Mercurialis annua is native to Europe occurring from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, it has been and Australian Bubblies might be interested to hear that recently it is spreading aggressively already in and around Melbourne, too.
The original of the India ink drawing is in a private collection now.