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Common Name: Naboom
Euphorbia tetragona is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 10.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
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[
]. Prolonged and regular contact with the sap is inadvisable because of its carcinogenic nature[
S. Africa - Cape Province
Prefers a light well-drained moderately rich loam in an open position[
]. Succeeds in dry soils[
According to [
] this species is hardy to climatic zone 7 (tolerating temperatures down to about -10°c). This statement must be viewed with some scepticism, the plant is unlikely to be at all frost-tolerant.
Hybridizes with other members of this genus[
]. The ripe seed is released explosively from the seed capsules[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[
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[
The flowers are rich in nectar and this is sometimes used in confectionery[
One report says that this species also supplies the drug, though it fails to say what the drug is or its medicinal actions[
Seed - sow spring in a shaded position in a greenhouse[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.