Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

Notes: Dry Deciduous Forests
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Brief

Flowering class: Dicot Habit: Shrub Distribution notes: Exotic
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Description

Unarmed, succulent shrub to 5 m, or a small tree to 12 m, with brittle succulent branches which are often whorled, c.7 mm thick, green with fine longitudinal white striations. Leaves few, linear-lanceolate to narrowly obovate, fleshy, present only on new growth and quickly deciduous. Cymes 2-6, congested at apices of branchlets, forking 2-4-times, producing cyathia, these usually either all male or all female. Cyathium c.3 × 4 mm; glands to 1.5 × 2 mm, 5, subspherical to transversely elliptic, bright yellow; lobes c.0.5 mm, triangular. Capsule c.8 × 8.5 mm, subspherical, glabrescent, exserted on a tomentose pedicel. Seeds 3.5 × 2.8 mm, ovoid, smooth.
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Distribution

Range Description

The species is present in all the tropical parts of the world and is common throughout its range. The modern distribution of this species appears to have become confused by introductions and subsequent naturalization (it has a long history of utilization be people), so it is hard to know which countries are part of the original range.
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"
Global Distribution

Paleotropics

Indian distribution

State - Kerala, District/s: Alappuzha, Kollam, Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Kozhikkode, Wayanad, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram

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"Maharashtra: Ahemdnagar, Pune, Ratnagiri, Thane Karnataka: Dharwar, Hassan, Mysore Kerala: Alapuzha, Idukki, Kollam, Kozhikode, Pathanamthitta Tamil Nadu: All districts"
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Euphorbia scoparia N.E. Br.:
Ethiopia (Africa & Madagascar)
Sudan (Africa & Madagascar)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Euphorbia rhipsalioides Lem.:
Madagascar (Africa & Madagascar)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Euphorbia rhipsaloides Willd.:
Angola (Africa & Madagascar)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Euphorbia suareziana Croizat:
Madagascar (Africa & Madagascar)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Euphorbia geayi Constantin & Gallaud:
Madagascar (Africa & Madagascar)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Euphorbia laro Drake:
Madagascar (Africa & Madagascar)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Euphorbia tirucalli L.:
Angola (Africa & Madagascar)
Belize (Mesoamerica)
Ecuador (South America)
El Salvador (Mesoamerica)
Ethiopia (Africa & Madagascar)
Gabon (Africa & Madagascar)
Ghana (Africa & Madagascar)
Honduras (Mesoamerica)
India (Asia)
Madagascar (Africa & Madagascar)
Mozambique (Africa & Madagascar)
Philippines (Asia)
Rwanda (Africa & Madagascar)
Sudan (Africa & Madagascar)
Sri Lanka (Asia)
Somalia (Africa & Madagascar)
Swaziland (Africa & Madagascar)
Tanzania (Africa & Madagascar)
South Africa (Africa & Madagascar)
Zambia (Africa & Madagascar)
Zaire (Africa & Madagascar)
China (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Old World tropics.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees or shrubs, 2-6 m tall, dioecious, eventually forming trunk, 10-25 cm d.b.h.; bark rugose, gray or light. Stems green, succulent, very finely longitudinally striate. Leaves alternate, present only on new growth; stipules very small, caducous; petiole ± absent; leaf blade oblong-linear, 7-15 × 0.7-1.5 mm, base attenuate, margin entire, apex obtuse. Cyathia clustered at apex of branches, pedunculate, unisexual; involucral leaves minute, membranous, caducous; involucre turbinate, ca. 2 × 1.5 mm, shortly pubescent inside; glands 5, peltate-ovate or subrounded. Male flowers many, exserted from involucre. Female flower: ovary glabrous, exserted from involucre; styles connate below middle; stigma 2-lobed. Capsule 3-lobed, ca. 8 × 8 mm, smooth, sparsely pilose or glabrous. Seeds ovoid-globose, ca. 4 × 4 mm, smooth; caruncle small. Fl. and fr. Jul-Oct.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

"Shrubs; branchlets terete, succulent, articulated. Leaves deciduous, 5-10 mm long, linear-oblong, base cuneate, apex obtuse to subacute. Cyathia clustered in the forks of the branchlets, shortly pedicelled, mostly female. Involucre campanulate; glands 3-5, transversely oval, peltate, lobes short, hairy; appendage 0. Male florets bracteolate, bracteoles laciniate at tip. Styles short, recurved, 2-lobed. Capsule 5 mm, globose, cocci compressed, velvety. Seeds ovoid, smooth."
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Diagnostic

Habit: Shrub/Small tree
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Usually in dry and moist thicket and savanna-type vegetation. This species is used to feed cattle and is widely used as a hedge plant. The latex is used sometimes as a fish poison, and at one time was exploited, although not very successfully, in the production of rubber. The latex apparently has too high a resin content.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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General Habitat

"Dry deciduous forests, also in the plains"
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Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated and escaped. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; also widely cultivated in greenhouses of C and N China [native to Africa (Angola); widely cultivated in tropical Asia].
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Population Biology

Frequency

Frequent
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering and fruiting: February-April
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Euphorbia tirucalli

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Euphorbia tirucalli

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Haevermans, T.

Reviewer/s
Rajeriarison, C., Labat, J.N., Lowry, P. & Randrianjohany, E. (Madagascar Plants RLA)

Contributor/s

Justification
The species is present in all the tropical parts of the world and is LC in Madagascar, where is has a very large extent of occurrence (992,459 km²) and area of occupancy (192,483 km²). There are some threats, but these do not yet trigger a threatened status.
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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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Population

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
Habitat degradation, fire, habitat clearing for charcoal.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Occurs in a large number of protected areas. Listed under CITES Appendix II.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Medicinal
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Wikipedia

Euphorbia tirucalli

Euphorbia tirucalli (also known as Aveloz, Firestick Plants, Indian Tree Spurge, Naked Lady, Pencil Tree, Sticks on Fire or Milk Bush) (Sanskrit: सप्तला saptala, सातला satala,Marathi : sher-kandvel शेर-कांडवेल) is a shrub that grows in semi-arid tropical climates.

It has a wide distribution in Africa, being prominently present in northeastern, central and southern Africa. It may also be native in other parts of the continent as well as some surrounding islands and the Arabian peninsula and has been introduced to many other tropical regions. Its status in India is uncertain. It grows in dry areas, and is often used to feed cattle or as hedging.[1] It is well known in Sri Lanka where it is called Sinhala: නවහන්දි Navahandi[3] in Sinhalese.

E. tirucalli is a hydrocarbon plant that produces a poisonous latex which can, with little effort, be converted to the equivalent of gasoline. This led chemist Melvin Calvin to propose the exploitation of E. tirucalli for producing oil. This usage is particularly appealing because of the ability of E. tirucalli to grow on land that is not suitable for most other crops. Calvin estimated that 10 to 50 barrels of oil per acre was achievable. It has also been used in the production of rubber, but this was not very successful.[1]

Traditional medicine[edit]

E. tirucalli also has uses in traditional medicine in many cultures. It has been used for cancer, excrescence, tumors, and warts in such diverse places as Brazil, India, Indonesia[citation needed], and Malaysia.[4] It has also been used as for asthma, cough, earache, neuralgia, rheumatism, toothache, and warts in India and Malaysia.[5]

E. tirucalli has been promoted as an anticancer agent, but research shows that it suppresses the immune system, promotes tumor growth, and leads to the development of certain types of cancer.[6] Euphorbia tirucalli has also been associated with Burkitt's lymphoma and is thought to be a cofactor of the disease rather than a treatment.[7]

First aid[edit]

The milky latex from E. tirucalli is extremely irritating to the skin and mucosa and is toxic.[6] Contact with skin causes severe irritation, redness and a burning sensation; contact with the eyes may cause severe pain, and in some cases temporary blindness for several days. Symptoms may worsen over 12 hours.

For eye exposures, flush eyes with fresh, cool water for at least 15 minutes and repeat after a few minutes. Seek medical attention if there is no relief. Over-the-counter anti-histamines may provide relief for some people.

If swallowed, it may cause burning to the mouth, lips, and tongue. Deaths have been recorded from swallowing the latex, and anyone swallowing some should seek medical attention.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Haevermans (2004). Euphorbia tirucalli. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ "Euphorbia tirucalli L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) online database. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  3. ^ sinhala-botany website
  4. ^ (Malay) Tumbuhan-tumbuhan perubatan herba, P.13
  5. ^ Euphorbia tirucalli L. in Handbook of Energy Crops, James Duke
  6. ^ a b "Aveloz". American Cancer Society. 
  7. ^ van den Bosch C; Griffin BB, Gazembe B, Dziweni C, Kadzamira L (1993). "Are plant factors a missing link in the evolution of endemic Burkitt's lymphoma?". Br J Cancer 68 (6): 1232–1235. doi:10.1038/bjc.1993.510. PMC 1968631. PMID 8260378. 
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