Stemless Spurge
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Stemless Spurge
P Native Photo: Nishant Chauhan
Common name: Stemless Spurge • Bengali: Dhudhmul • Gujarati: Kurkund • Hindi: बनमूली Banmuli • Marathi: भूइफोड़ Bhuiphod • Oriya: पहाड़ी मूली Pahari muli • Telugu: Palachepugaddu
Botanical name: Euphorbia fusiformis    Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Synonyms: Euphorbia acaulis, Euphorbia humilis

Stemless Spurge is a succulent herb, rootstock spindle-shaped, buried in the ground, 12-85 cm long and 3-5.5 cm in diameter. Leaves are hairless, appearing after flowers, fleshy, numerous, arching, mostly irregular in shape, broadly to narrowly lanceshaped to inverted-lanceshaped, 12-25 cm long and 1.5-5 cm broad, blunt, with a reddish prominent midrib on the lower surface,mostly green, with sharp reddish, slightly crispate or wavy margins; leaf-stalk up to 5 cm long. Flowers are borne in yellow-green cymes, 3.5-4.5 cm long, hairless, flower-cluster-stalk three times branched, cyathia bisexual, yellow, bracts green, cyathial glands oblong, yellow, male flowers appear before female, stamens 3 mm long, pollen yellow, female flower with styles 3, fused to the middle for 1.5 to 2.0 mm, then free for 2.0 mm, bifid. Gynophore erect to 12 mm, capsule 7.5 to 8 mm in diameter, cocci compressed, slightly rounded, hairless, greenish in colour; seeds ovate, smooth, very dark grey in colour. Stemless Spurge is endemic to India and Nepal.
Medicinal uses: In several regions of India and Nepal, this rare geophytic Euphorbia is used for its benefits as folk medicine. Latex-based extract from its roots is utilized to relieve muscular and arthritis-related pain. By applying leaf -paste to the forehead, headaches and fever can be cured. Other illnesses such as diarrhoea, eczema, and liver disorders are treated using root's latex. In a few regions, people use it as an antidote to snake bites. Its Latex can cause irritation and etching to sensitive skin and may seriously harm the eyes if not handled cautiously.

Identification credit: Nishant Chauhan Photographed in Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh.

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