Monday, January 17, 2011

Euphorbia millii v. roseana--Crown of Thorns

Like most Euphorbs, this one has toxic milky juice which deters herbivores. We get latex, used in gloves, balloons, rubber bands and pencil erasers, from a plant in the Euphobiaceae family, Hevea brasiliensis. No wonder so many people have a reaction to latex, it is designed to keep animals away! The sap of E. candelabrum is so toxic it has been used to make poison arrows. E. cooperi is so strong that breathing in the vicinity of a broken stem can cause throat irritation. E drupifera has been used to remove warts. E. sheffleri has been used as a fish poison. These plants create some strong stuff!

I now have a new appreciation for plants and a new respect for Euphorbs. Be careful when you are weeding those spurges!

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