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Milkbush Euphorbia tirucalli

Phonetic Spelling
yoo-FOR-bee-ah tee-roo-KAL-lye
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Euphorbia tirucalli, or Indian Tree Spurge, is a succulent, spineless shrub or tree with a heavy trunk, brown primary branches, and pencil-like, green, new branches. Leaves cluster at the tip of the branches, as do insignificant flowers within showy bracts. It is tropical to semi-tropical by nature and reliably winter hardy to USDA Zone 11. It is currently surviving in southern parts of Florida and California in Zone 10. It is drought tolerant and when grown outdoors in warm climates, the tree can reach heights of 30 feet and is typically used as a hedge or barrier. When grown in more temperate climates, it can be kept smaller and used as a houseplant.

When grown outdoors, the plant does best in dry climates where the temperature ranges from 50 degrees in the evening and 75 degrees during the day. Plant in well-drained soils that are nourishing but without high organic content and water only when the soil is dry. If local conditions include host summers, it is best to site the plant where there is some afternoon shade. When grown indoors, use coarse loams with peat moss or leaf mold plus gritty material such as coarse sand.

Wear gloves when working with this plant to avoid contact with its toxic sap.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known insect or disease problems, but watch for nematodes, spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. Fungal and bacterial diseases can appear.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#houseplant#drought tolerant#shrub#succulent#tree#hedges#cpp#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#houseplant#drought tolerant#shrub#succulent#tree#hedges#cpp#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euphorbia
    Species:
    tirucalli
    Family:
    Euphorbiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Ethiopia, Tropical Africa and east to India and Indonesia
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Tolerates drought and poor soil
    Edibility:
    toxic sap
    Dimensions:
    Height: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Succulent
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11a, 11b, 12b, 12a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Seeds ovoid, smooth, buff speckled with brown and with a dark brown ventral line.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Inconspicuous yellow flowers at the top of the branchlets in stalk-less clusters within large petal-like showy bracts. Blossoms from May to July. Bracts typically hide the inconspicuous tiny yellowish flowers within.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Oblanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Tiny, 1 inch leaves cluster at the tip of the branches and soon drop.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Heavy trunk with thick primary branches which are woody and brown. New branchlets are fragile and green with a short cylindrical shape having a brittle, pencil-like thickness, often forming clusters at the branch ends.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Houseplants
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Low-level toxin can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea when ingested. Contact between the plant's sap and skin can cause minor irritation including redness, swelling, and blisters with some delay after initial contact. Eye contact with the sap can cause blindness lasting several days.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Diterpene esters in milky latex
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems