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Euphorbia tirucalli, Pencil Bush, Milk-bush, Pencil Tree, Fire Fingers

Euphorbia tirucalli

Pencil Bush, Milk-bush, Pencil Tree, Fire Fingers
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Origin: Swaziland
Large shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunModerate waterIrritatingSubtropical, mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Succulent and spineless treelets to 20 ft tall; trunk to 16" in diam.; stems and branches green, with milky latex. Leaves soon caducous or leafless, rarely alternate at apex young branchlets in former year. Branched green, rather succulent, cylindrical pencil like stems. The plants are usually leaf less, but for a few small leaves at the tips of the branches; but these leaves fall off soon. This is called the 'cactoid habit', due to which the species is often confused with the cacti (Rhipsalis baccifera). A small prick releases milky latex, which is absent in the cacti.

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