Euphorbia lactea is a species of spurge native to tropical Asia, mainly in India.[2]

Euphorbia lactea
CITES Appendix II (CITES)[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
E. lactea
Binomial name
Euphorbia lactea
Euphorbia lactea in Kourou, French Guiana.

It is an erect shrub growing up to 5 metres (16 ft) tall, with succulent branches 3–5 centimetres (1.2–2.0 in) diameter, ridged, with a triangular or rhombic cross-section; the ridges are spiny, with short spines up to 5 millimetres (0.20 in) long. The leaves are minute, and soon deciduous.[2] All parts of the plant contain a poisonous milky latex.[3] Common names include mottled spurge,[4] frilled fan[citation needed], elkhorn[citation needed], candelabra spurge,[4] candelabrum tree, candelabra cactus, candelabra plant, dragon bones,[4] false cactus,[4] hatrack cactus,[4] milkstripe euphorbia, mottled candlestick.

60 year old Euphorbia lactea var. Cristata located at the Duke University greenhouse, Durham, USA.

It is used medicinally in India.[5] It is widely grown as an ornamental plant, both in the tropics, and as a houseplant in temperate regions; a number of cultivars have been selected for ornamental use, notably 'Cristata' with frilled branching.[2][6]

References edit

  1. ^ "Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2024-01-17.
  2. ^ a b c Huxley, A, ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. ISBN 0-333-47494-5
  3. ^ Poisonous plants: Euphorbia lactea Archived 2009-06-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d e "Euphorbia lactea". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  5. ^ Plant of the Euphorbia lactea
  6. ^ Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk: Euphorbia lactea