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Euphorbia helioscopia - L.

Common Name Madwoman's Milk
Family Euphorbiaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards The sap contains a latex which is toxic on ingestion and highly irritant externally, causing photosensitive skin reactions and severe inflammation, especially on contact with eyes or open cuts. The toxicity can remain high even in dried plant material[200]. Prolonged and regular contact with the sap is inadvisable because of its carcinogenic nature[214].
Habitats Common in cultivated ground throughout Britain to an altitude of 450 metres[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, south to the Mediterranean and east to central Asia.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Euphorbia helioscopia Madwoman


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cleaned-Illustration_Euphorbia_helioscopia.jpg
Euphorbia helioscopia Madwoman

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Euphorbia helioscopia is a ANNUAL growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in). It is in flower from May to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Flies.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

E. lunulata.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Stem
Edible Uses: Tea

Young stems - cooked[177, 179, 183]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Young leaves are used as a tea substitute[177, 183].

Medicinal Uses

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Anthelmintic  Antiperiodic  Cancer  Febrifuge

Antiperiodic[178]. The leaves and stems are febrifuge and vermifuge[218]. The root is anthelmintic[240]. The plant is cathartic[240]. It has anticancer properties[218]. The milky sap is applied externally to skin eruptions[240]. The seeds, mixed with roasted pepper, have been used in the treatment of cholera[240]. The oil from the seeds has purgative properties[240].

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a light well-drained moderately rich loam in an open position[200]. Succeeds in dry soils. Hybridizes with other members of this genus[200]. The ripe seed is released explosively from the seed capsules[200]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[233]. This genus has been singled out as a potential source of latex (for making rubber) for the temperate zone, although no individual species has been singled out[141].

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring or late summer in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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123

 

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Author

L.

Botanical References

17

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Readers comment

Muahammad Akmal Khan Mustufie   Wed Apr 13 07:42:57 2005

in Pakistan its flowering season is mid March.Its common name is DHODAK/DHODHAL.

Michael Charters   Fri Jan 6 2006

I would like to know what helioscopia means. Obviously helio refers to the sun, but I can't figure out what the whole name means.

Alan Clark   Tue Jan 9 2007

At the age of 11, an old midwife told me to apply the milky sap to warts and they would go in about ten days, Two years ago I was refered to hospital for a nasty angry looking growth, the size of a small pea, this to dissappeared before my appointment, so had to cancel! my Doctor could not believe that I had got rid of it so quickly and on examination he could find no trace of it, or any scarring!

Azeem   Thu Jun 18 2009

What r the important constiteunts of this plant?

google E.helioscopia

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