Is Euphorbia Tirucalli Poisonous?
Euphorbia tirucalli, sometimes known as the pencil cactus or milk bush plant, is a popular ornamental plant in the southern United States, however its sap is harmful to humans.
Furthermore, the sap is one of the most irritating plant compounds known, causing adverse consequences after contact with the cutaneous or mucous membranes, particularly eye exposure.
As a result, early detection and treatments assist to reduce serious effects, such as blindness. This activity examines the examination and management of Euphorbia sap exposure and emphasizes the role of the healthcare team in improving care for people suffering from this condition.
The Pencil Plant’s sap is extremely toxic. Wear gloves when handling sap to avoid irritation from the sap; thoroughly wash hands after handling. If sap gets into your eyes or is ingested, get medical assistance right away.
Always keep houseplants out of the reach of little children and pets.
Is Euphorbia Tirucalli A Succulent?
The Pencil Plant, also known as Euphorbia Tirucalli, is a succulent that is native to South and East Africa. The plant’s name stems from pencil-like branches that shoot upward in a candelabra arrangement.
Young branches are cylindrical, smooth, and green, but as they age, they can become gray and rough, similar to tree bark. It has thin, narrow leaves that fall off soon.
If crushed or ripped, this succulent produces an extremely toxic milky sap. The Pencil Plant is otherwise highly pleasing, surviving in practically any dry and above-freezing climate.
It can grow between two and twenty inches in a single season under ideal conditions.
How Do You Take Care Of Euphorbia Tirucalli?
The pencil cactus is extremely low-maintenance and can withstand a great deal of neglect. It also does not frequently have pests or diseases. If you travel frequently and don’t have time to care for a houseplant on a regular basis, this could be the plant for you.
Watering this plant is generally only required a couple of times each month during the warmer months, and even less during the cooler months. Fertilization is usually done once a year.
Other maintenance may include trimming dead stems as needed and repotting container plants as they outgrow their containers.
Light: The pencil cactus prefers full sun, which means at least six hours of sunlight on most days. It can, however, withstand some shade and may even prefer some shade from the intense afternoon sun. Indoors, place it near the brightest window.
Soil: This plant prefers dry, sandy soil that is low in nutrients. Succulent or cactus potting mix that does not hold moisture is ideal for container plants.
Water: This succulent requires very little watering. In the spring and summer, it only need water every two to three weeks. In the fall and winter, reduce watering to once a month.
To minimize overwatering, it’s best to allow the soil dry fully between waterings. This plant is drought resilient, but too much water might rot its roots.
Temperature: Warm temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for the pencil cactus. Temperatures in the vicinity of the plant should not fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Indoors, keep your plant away from cool drafts, such as those produced by an air conditioner.
Humidity: The plant also grows well under low humidity. A greater humidity level, on the other hand, should not trouble it as long as the soil does not hold wet.
Fertilizer: This plant isn’t a big eater. Feed your pencil cactus in the spring with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer, and it should be OK for the rest of the year.
How Poisonous Is Euphorbia Tirucalli?
The latex is extremely poisonous, producing serious eye injury, irritation and vesication upon contact, and emesis and purgation upon intake.
Tirucalli is poisonous and severely irritating to the skin and mucosa. It can cause temporary blindness if exposed to it. Contact with the skin causes extreme irritation, redness, and a burning sensation. It can cause burns to the mouth, lips, and tongue if consumed.
This poisonous, irritating secretion can be found in all Euphorbia species.
Euphorbia tirucalli is the most potent of them all. That is why it is critical to protect your eyes, hands, and skin when pruning. While the tree is used medicinally, its latex is poisonous and can cause skin irritation as well as temporary blindness.
Avoid any unintentional contact with the plant. Place your “sticks on fire” plant carefully so that people don’t frequently brush up against it and damage its limbs. Keep children and dogs at bay, in particular.
How Fast Does Euphorbia Tirucalli Grow?
Euphorbia Tirucalli bushes grow slowly, so they do not require frequent repotting. It is generally advised that these plants be repotted once every two or three years in the summer or spring.
When it comes to propagating, allow stem cuttings to air dry for a week or more to produce a callous. Place it in a damp sand, succulent, or cactus mix pot. You should notice development within a week to 10 days.
How Tall Does Euphorbia Tirucalli Grow?
The pencil tree is a shrub or small tree with pencil-thick, green, smooth, succulent branches that can grow up to 7 meters in height. It has a cylindrical and fleshy stem with 7 mm thick fragile succulent twigs that are often generated in whorls and are longitudinally and finely striated.
The oval leaves are 1–2.5 cm long and 3–4 mm wide, and they normally fall off early. It has a milky sap that is poisonous and caustic. Yellow blooms bloom at the tips of the branches.
What Is The Common Name Of Euphorbia Tirucalli?
Euphorbia tirucalli, also known as Indian tree spurge, naked lady, pencil tree, pencil cactus, fire stick, or milk bush, is a semi-arid tropical tree. It is a hydrocarbon plant that generates a toxic latex that can cause temporary blindness.
It is a dioecious, single to multiple trunked, succulent, cactus-like, milky-sapped tree that normally reaches to 20-30′ tall and 10′ wide.
How Do You Use Euphorbia Tirucalli?
Its latex can also be utilized to generate electricity. This prompted chemist Melvin Calvin to propose using E. tirucalli to produce oil. This use is particularly appealing due of E. tirucalli’s capacity to thrive on land that is unsuitable for most other crops.
Calvin believed that 10 to 50 barrels of oil per acre may be produced. Petrobras, Brazil’s national petroleum firm, began research based on these ideas in the 1980s. [Citation required] It has also been used to make rubber, but neither has been very successful.
While the tree is used medicinally, its latex is poisonous and can cause skin irritation as well as temporary blindness.
The wiry plant has no thorns and relies on toxicity to ward off predators, hence the colloquial moniker “fire sticks.” When handling the plant, use caution and wear eye protection.
Young branches of the tree, on the other hand, can be roasted and chewed to heal sore throats. Euphoria tirucalli root juice is also used as an emetic in snake bite situations and to treat female infertility.
The latex is a milky emulsion of around 30% (mostly euphol) terpenes in water, and the latex oil has been used in the linoleum, oilskin, and leather fabric industries. Anaerobic fermentation of Euphorbia tirucalli latex can also yield methane.
White, close-grained, and moderately hard wood. Toys, rafters, beams, and veneers are common applications. The tree is commonly planted for decorative purposes, as well as to create a boundary, barrier, or support. Euphoria tirucalli is widely utilized as a hedge plant in East African rural regions.
How Do You Kill Euphorbia Tirucalli?
Euphorbia tirucalli, often known as pencil cactus, may be difficult to kill and remove because it, like other succulents, tolerates neglect and roots easily from a little slice.
Pencil cactus grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 through 11, but dies back to the ground with the first frost in colder locations.
A pencil cactus can grow up to 30 feet tall when cultivated outside in the correct climate. Because the pencil-like branches produce a milky, deadly sap, you should wear protective clothes when removing pencil cactus to avoid skin irritation.
- Cut straight through the main stem using lopping shears or a pruning saw, a few inches above soil level. You may need to prune a few lower branches to reach the base, but make as few cuts as possible to decrease the amount of sap that escapes from the open wounds.
- Spray cool water on the exposed cuts to stop or delay the sap flow.
- Place the cut plant on a firm surface away from the soil for one or two days to allow the sap to drain and the wound to heal. If you have a giant pencil cactus, cut it into several pieces.
- Dispose of the cactus together with other yard garbage in accordance with your community’s policies.
- Spray a non-selective herbicide over the exposed trunk cut, such as a product containing roughly 25% glyphosate herbicide. Allow the herbicide at least one week to spread to the roots and kill the entire root system.
- Dig a wide circle at least 12 to 18 inches out from the stem, retaining as many roots as possible within the circle of soil. As you dig, pull back on the shovel handle to release the roots from the earth.
- Exit the hole with the root ball and shake off any excess soil.
- Remove any residual pencil cactus roots by picking through the dirt. If the roots appear to extend well beyond the hole where the root ball was removed, use a garden hoe or mattock to break up the dirt in a larger area.
- Get rid of the root ball and root fragments.
- Fill the hole with clean dirt and level it out with a rake.