Euphorbia sp. (known as Naked Lady, Aveloz, Firestick Plant, Rosea, Indian Tree Spurge, Pencil tree, pencil cactus, sticks on fire or milk bush) is a shrub that grows in semi-arid tropical climates. This plant is very popular in Brisbane gardens and sold in nurseries throughout Brisbane.
The milky sap from this plant is extremely irritating to the skin and is highly toxic. Contact with skin causes severe irritation, redness and a burning sensation; contact with the eyes may cause severe pain, and in some cases temporary blindness for several days. Symptoms may worsen over 12 hours. For eye exposures, flush eyes with fresh, cool water and seek medical advice. If swallowed, it may cause burning to the mouth, lips, and tongue. Deaths have been recorded from swallowing the latex, and anyone swallowing some should seek medical attention.
The Euphorbia tirucalli is a very striking succulent shrub that eventually can grow to 8 metres tall by 3 metres wide. The many branches on this interesting tree are as thin as pencils and a reddish-golden colour. Be very careful when handling this plant as the stems break easily and the milky sap can burn the skin or cause welts, and certainly is not something to get into the eyes. The sap will leak without breaking or cutting the branches. For this reason, we recommend not planting it in your garden.
If you have a plant that you are unsure of, don’t hesitate to contact us and we can come and have a look and offer our expert advice.