Common name: Triangular Spurge, Square Spurge, Square milk hedge, Fleshy spurge • Hindi: त्रिधार Tridhara, वज्र कंटक Vajrakantaka • Manipuri: তেংনোউ Tengnou • Marathi: Narasya • Tamil: சதுரக்கள்ளி chaturakalli, கள்ளி kalli, கண்டீரவம் Kantiravam, Kodiravam, Tiruvargalli • Malayalam: Chaturakkalli • Telugu: బొమ్మజెముడు bommajemudu, బొంతజెముడు bontha jemudu, bontha kl• Kannada: Kontekalli, Jadekalli, Mundukalli • Bengali: Tiktasij • Konkani: Tirikon • Sanskrit: स्नुह् snuhu, वज्रकाण्टक Vajrakantaka
Botanical name: Euphorbia antiquorum Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Triangular Spurge is a small succulent tree, usually shrub-like, with plentiful
white sap. Wide spread throughout peninsular India, it can be found growing
up to an altitude of 800 m. One of the largest armed tree Euphorbias with
an average height of 5-7 m, it has been known to attain gigantic
proportions if left undisturbed. Older stems cylindrical, with brownish
bark; younger branches smooth, green, distinctly 3(-4)-angled, distinctly
articulate with the segments 6-30 by 2-5 cm, drying greenish, with shallow
to hardly narrowed sinuses between the spine-shields. Spine-shields in
rows, shallow, 1.5-2 cm apart, spines in pairs, (3-)4-6 mm long, blackish,
persistent. The flower structures are called cyathia. Cyathium is an
inflorescence consisting of a cuplike cluster of modified leaves enclosing
a female flower and several male flowers.
Yellow cyathia can be in triads or 3-4 individual together. They are full
of honey that attract bees. Seed capsules turn deep red on maturity. The
odour of its latex is pungent and lingering. Easily propagated from seed or
vegetatively, this Euphorbia is common in collections and easy to grow.
Medicinal uses: Juice of the plant is useful in chest pain and
constipation. Latex is applied to boils for early suppuration and healing.
Root bark is purgative. Latex is useful in killing maggots of wounds.
Saline extract of the plant is antibiotic.
Identification credit: Hemanth Tripathi
|Photographed in Malavali, Maharashtra.|