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Euphorbia tirucalli L.

Brief Summary

    Euphorbia tirucalli: Brief Summary
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    Euphorbia tirucalli (also known as aveloz, firestick plants, Indian tree spurge, naked lady, pencil tree, pencil cactus, sticks on fire or milk bush) (Sanskrit: सप्तला saptala, सातला satala,Marathi : sher-kandvel शेर-कांडवेल) is a tree 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. It is well known in Sri Lanka where it is called Kalli in Tamil, as mentioned in the Akananuru by the Sri Lankan Tamil poet Eelattu Poothanthevanar and in Sinhalese: වැරදි නවහන්දි, ගස් නවහන්දි Weradi Navahandi or Gass Nawahandi.

    Euphorbia 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.

Comprehensive Description