Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Rosea’
Pencil tree, milkbush, milk bush, finger tree, sticks of fire
Pencil tree is a native of northeastern, central and southern Africa. It is also found in China, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. It is not native to North America, but has become naturalized in some areas. This cultivar of Euphorbia tirucalli L. has red tips.
Identification: Branches are smooth, cylindrical, green, about the diameter of a pencil. Branch tips are orange, red, or pink. Plants are up to 20' (6.1 m) high. There are no spines. Leaves are small, about ½" (1.3 cm) long and less than ⅛" (3.2 mm) wide. They fall off early, so usually the stems appear naked. Flowers are pale yellow and inconspicuous.
Edibility: Poisonous The milky sap that oozes from any broken part of this plant causes dermatitis and severe pain in some. It can cause extreme pain and induce temporary blindness, lasting several days, if it comes in contact with the eyes. If you get any in your eyes, flush them with water for at least 15 minutes, then seek immediate medical attention. Deaths have been recorded from ingestion.
Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Rosea’ on the South African National Biodiversity Institute's web site, plantzafrica.com
Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Rosea’ on hort.purdue.edu
Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Rosea’ at Chris A. Martin's site at Arizona State University
Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Rosea’ in Paghat's Garden
Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Rosea’ at the JC Raulston Arboretum
Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Rosea’ description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.