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Euphorbia abyssinica - J.F.Gmel.

Common Name Candelabra Spurge
Family Euphorbiaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Euphorbia abyssinica has toxic milky sap that causes irritation and blistering if it comes into contact with the skin. The sap can also cause temporary or permanent blindness if it comes into contact with the eyes.
Habitats Steep rocky hillsides; sometimes forming pure stands, often around churches; locally abundant or common at elevations from 840 - 2,400 metres[328 ].
Range Tropical Africa - Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Tender Well drained soil Semi-shade Full sun
Euphorbia abyssinica Candelabra Spurge


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Euphorbia abyssinica Candelabra Spurge
wikimedia.org Michael Wolf

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Euphorbia abyssinica is an evergreen Tree growing to 7.5 m (24ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Euphorbia acrurensis N.E.Br. Euphorbia aethiopum Croizat Euphorbia controversa N.E.Br. Euphorbia disclusa N.E.Br. Euphorbia erythraeae (Berger) N.E.Br. Euphorbia grandis Lem. Euphorbia neglecta N.E.Br. Euphorbia neutra A.Berger Euphorbia obovalifolia A.Rich. Euphorbia officinarum kolquall Willd. Euphorbia richardiana Baill.

Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


A stem bark decoction is taken to treat gastro-intestinal complaints[299 ]. The latex is taken in milk, or eaten with bread, to treat gonorrhoea or ascariasis[299 ]. The latex is applied to wounds to accelerate healing[299 ]. In Ethiopia, the sap has been used mixed with butter as a topical treatment for fungal skin infections. It is also used by traditional healers in the treatment of malaria and visceral leishmaniasis.

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Other Uses

The soft, yellow wood is used for water pots, xylophones, roofing, matches, boxes, tables and saddles[299 , 364 ]. The wood is used for fuel[299 ]. The carbon from burnt wood is used for making gun powder[364 ]. Studies have shown the sap can promote rooting in cuttings of other species such as the threatened tree, Boswellia papyrifera.

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Experimental Crop  Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Management: Coppice

A plant of drier places in the tropics, where it can be found at elevations from 840 - 2,400 metres[423 ]. Plants cannot tolerate frosts[423 ]. Succeeds in full sun and in light shade[423 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Experimental Crop  Plant breeders are testing these plants to see if they could be domesticated for cultivation, but they are still in an experimental phase. Examples include milkweed and leafy spurge.
  • Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Materials, chemicals and energy include bioplastics, rubber, biomass products gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, butane, propane, biogas. Plants are usually resprouting plants and saps.
  • Management: Coppice  Cut to the ground repeatedly - resprouting vigorously. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.

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Propagation

Seed - Cuttings root easily. They need to be stored in light shade for a few days to dry before being planted, or else they will rot. It is best to plant the cuttings when the rain is about to stop, in a well-drained soil[299 ]

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Abyssinica Euphorbia

Found In

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

Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Somalia; Sudan

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.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : All succulent species of Euphorbia are listed in CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), an international agreement that governs the trade in plants to ensure their survival into the future is not threatened.

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Euphorbia helioscopiaMadwoman's MilkAnnual0.4 -  LMNDM12 
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Euphorbia lacteaMottled SpurgeShrub5.0 10-11 MLMHSNDM004
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Euphorbia marginataMountain Snow, Ghost Spurge, Ghost WeedAnnual0.6 4-8 FLMNDM110
Euphorbia neriifoliaFleshy spurge, Hedge Euphorbia, Oleander spurgeShrub4.0 10-12 FLMSND222
Euphorbia pekinensisDa JiPerennial0.6 -  LMNDM03 
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J.F.Gmel.

Botanical References

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For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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