False cactus

Scientific Name :
Euphorbia lactea Haw.
Synonym(s) :
Local/Common name(s) :
False cactus
Family :
Euphorbiaceae
Habit :
Shrubs
Flowering/Fruiting Time :
Habitat :
Cultivated in gardens as cactus like ornamental
Endemic :
No
Status (IUCN) :
Distribution :
Europe, Africa, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Molluccas
Nativity :
Exotic
Uses :
Ornamental, poison
Description (Morphology) :

Euphorbia lactea, commonly called mottled spurge, and also known as mottled candlestick or milkstripe euphorbia, is a usually leafless, cactus-like succulent shrub or small tree that grows in an upright columnar form to as much as 15′ tall. In containers, it grows much smaller and can be easily maintained as a 1-2′ tall houseplant. It is noted for its shrubby habit, spiny stems, mottled branches (green with white lines), usually 4-angled stems, paired black stem thorns, and white milky sap. Sap is also an often significant irritant to eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Tiny ovate leaves appear at the growing tips in summer, but drop quickly leaving plants leafless most of the time. Plants rarely flower in cultivation. When flowers do appear, they are inconspicuously located in paired cyathia near the stem tips.

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