Euphorbia tirucalli also known as Pencil Cactus and Milk Bush is native to Africa with wide distribution to surrounding islands and the Arabian Peninsula and has been introduced to many other tropical regions.
The Pencil Cactus grows with single or multiple trunks which support a tangle of light green, pencil thick, succulent branches with little sign of a leaf. Euphorbia tirucalli can reach a height of 30 feet tall with a 10 to 12 foot spread. The main trunk and branches are woody and brownish , but the younger branches are green and cylindrical , looking like so many pencils. The leaves are tiny and are shed early. Euphorbia tirucalli may be trimmed to maintain it as a large shrub where it help screen a swimming pool from strong breezes or to form a hedge . It is highly salt tolerant and is often grown in gardens near the beach.
The Pencil Cactus makes a dramatic presentation striking for its pattern of silhouette or shadow. It can be trained and shaped to grow in endless patterns and decorated with tiny lights at Christmas or other holidays. It makes a great houseplant and is easy to grow, just remember to give it ample light and not to over water.
Euphoria tirucalli is a hydrocarbon plant that produces poisonous latex which can, with little effort be converted to the equivalent of gasoline. Chemist Melvin Calvin estimated that 10 to 50 barrels of oil per acre were achievable. The Milk Bush has also been used in traditional medicine in many cultures. It has been used to treat cancers, excrescences, tumors, and warts in such diverse places a Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia> It has also been used as an application for asthma, cough, earache, rheumatism, toothache, warts in India, and as “fish poison” in Africa, when branches are macerated and placed in a stream, the juice will stupefy fish enabling fisherman to catch them easily.
The milky sap contained in this plant is extremely irritating to the skin and mucosa as well as possibly toxic. Contact with skin causes severe irritation, redness and burning sensation, contact with the eyes may cause severe pain and in some cases temporary blindness for several days.
We are offering for sale a well-established plant that is 8 to 12 inches tall