Firestick Plant

Euphorbia tirucalli

Firestick Plant, Euphorbia tirucalli, photo © by Michael Plagens

Cultivated in a boundary fence near Kapenguria, Kenya. July 2014.

LEAVES:Leaves are present on new growth, but they are quickly shed leaving smooth green stems.

SHRUB: Usually a large shrub 2 to 5 meters tall with several to many trunks. Occasionally a single-trunk tree. Breaks in the stems ooze copious amounts of milky latex that can induce severe skin irritations and temporary blindness.

FLOWERS: The groups of small flowers are subtended by cup-shaped structures.

RANGE: Widely distributed and widely planted across tropical Africa. It has been introduced in other tropical countries also. Many local names apply such as Rubber Euphorbia, Milk Bush, and Pencil Tree.

FRUIT: Three-parted capsules.


Euphorbiaceae -- Spurge Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 5 June 2015