247Garden Pencil Tree Cactus Plant Cutting 3-4" 1pc

$0.99
In stock 89 in stock
SKU
247Plant-PencilTree-Cut

247Garden's Pencil Tree Cactus Plant is commonly known as euphorbia tirucalli, aveloz, Indian tree spurge, pencil cactus, milk bush and naked lady. It is a tree that grows in semi-arid tropical climates. A hydrocarbon plant, it produces a poisonous latex that can cause temporary blindness if not careful.

Description

The Pencil Tree Cactus Plant is a shrub or small tree with pencil-thick, green, smooth, succulent branches that reaches heights of growth of up to 23 feet (7 meters). It has a cylindrical and fleshy stem with fragile succulent twigs that are 7 mm thick, often produced in whorls, longitudinally, finely striated. The oval leaves are 1 to 2.5 cm long and about 3 to 4 mm wide; they usually fall off early. It contains a milky, toxic and corrosive sap. The yellow flowers are at the ends of the branches.

Habitat

Pencil Tree Cactus Plant has a wide distribution in Africa in black clay soils, being prominently present in northeastern, central and southern Africa. It may also be native in other parts of the continent as well as some surrounding islands and the Arabian peninsula and has been introduced to many other tropical regions, such as Brazil, India, Vietnam, the Philippines and Ghana. It grows in dry areas, especially the savanna, and is often used to feed cattle or as hedging. It is well known in Sri Lanka where it is called Kalli in Tamil, as mentioned in the Akananuru by the Sri Lankan Tamil poet Eelattu Poothanthevanar and in Sinhala: වැරදි නවහන්දි, ගස් නවහන්දි Weradi Navahandi or Gass Nawahandi.

Propagation

Cuttings from the Pencil Tree Cactus Plant root easily. Cut fresh branches from a healthy bush. Cuttings should be at least 10cm long, and should be left to dry for at least 24 hours before planting. Just stick the cutting into soil and give it some water and it should start rooting in about 1-2 weeks. 

Toxicology

The milky latex from the Pencil Tree Cactus Plant is extremely irritating to the skin and mucosa and is toxic. Exposure to it can cause temporary blindness. Skin contact causes severe irritation, redness and a burning sensation. If ingested, it can cause burns to the mouth, lips and tongue. It is suggested to wear eye protection gear and gloves for handling the plant.

Traditional medicine

The Pencil Tree Cactus Plant is used as alternative medicine in many cultures. Attempts have been made to use it to treat cancer, excrescence, tumors, warts, asthma, cough, earache, neuralgia, rheumatism, and toothaches in countries including Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The Pencil Tree Cactus Plant has been promoted as an anticancer agent, but research shows that it suppresses the immune system, promotes tumor growth, and leads to the development of certain types of cancer. Euphorbia tirucalli has also been associated with Burkitt's lymphoma and is thought to be a cofactor of the disease rather than a treatment.

Uses

Its latex can also be used as fuel. This led chemist Melvin Calvin to propose the exploitation of the Pencil Tree Cactus Plant for producing oil. This usage is particularly appealing because of the ability of the Pencil Tree Cactus Plant to grow on land that is not suitable for most other crops. Calvin estimated that 10 to 50 barrels of oil per acre was achievable. In the 1980s the Brazilian national petroleum company Petrobras began experiments based on these ideas. It has also been used in the production of rubber, but neither have been very successful.


The Pencil Tree Cactus Plant fully grown (source: wikipedia)

More Information
SKU 247Plant-PencilTree-Cut
Dimensional Weight (LB) 0.150000
Free Shipping Promotion No
Condition New
Manufacturer 247Garden
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