Euphorbia Peplus, is a species of phanerogamic plant belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae.
Common name : cancer weed, milkweed ,petty spurge, radium weed
It should not be confused with Euphorbia peplus, purple spurge, a relatively rare plant from the coastal sand and pebbles.
The origin of this widely distributed plant is in Macaronesia.
This is the five archipelagos of the North Atlantic, more or less close to the African continent, the Azores, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira and the Savage Islands and the Mediterranean region.
It is therefore a Eurasian species, naturalized in several regions of America.
The common names by which it is known are, among others, milk sprouts, dairy, peplo, teas, tomagallos, poisonous basil, coyote grass, etc.
The Euphorbia Peplus , is presented as an exotic plant, is found mainly in gardens and ornamental plantations of cities.
Characteristics of the Euphorbia Peplus.
The main inhabitants of this species are the gardens, flower beds, scrub areas and orchards.
It grows in grasses of annual plants, in orchards, in grasslands, in humid and temperate zones, from sea level to 1600 m.
The Euphorbia Peplus, is an erect, yellow-green plant, between 10cm to 50 cm high and have a branched stem from the base, to growth bud.
The leaves grow throughout the stem on fine petioles between 1 cm and 3 cm in length.
The leaves have an alternate arrangement with a short petiole.
The flowering period goes from June to September in the Mediterranean area.
Presents a typical latex of this species, which gives an unpleasant taste and prevents it from being consumed by animals.
The stem, usually very branched, with the ascending branches, densely populated.
The leaves of the stem alternate, on thin petioles.
The Fruit are like capsules about 2 mm long, divided into 3 parts.
How to care for Euphorbia Peplus.
The Euphorbia Peplus , grows in full light, although it supports the shade well and needs a warm ambient temperature.
It begins to grow towards the end of autumn, blooms in spring summer, from June to September.
The Euphorbia Peplus , is an annual plant.
A little small and delicate, sprat milk does not look much like a cactus, but its latex is a good reason to avoid it.
It grows on cleared terrains and roadsides.
What substrate to use for the Euphorbia Peplus.
For the substrate that best maintains the plant, they will be dry soils with moderate dryness.
The soils must be rich in bases, that is, pH 5.5 – 8, as an approximate index of alkalinity and also soils with a rich supply of Nitrogen, which will indicate the richness of nutrients.
It needs sandy and calcareous soils.
This demanding species only thrives in calciferous, rich habitats.
How to water the Euphorbia Peplus
Being the Euphorbia Peplus , a plant that grows well in natural environments, to keep controlled, the best will be, weekly watering.
The substrate should be allowed to dry between irrigations and one with a warm temperature, avoiding sudden changes in temperature.
It needs to enjoy shaded, moist and fertile soils.
How to reproduce the Euphorbia Peplus .
The Euphorbia Peplus-Lechetrezna, is propagated by seeds.
The seeds are white or gray ovoid with a slightly hexagonal section between 1 millimeter and 1.7 millimeters.
Warning and proper uses of Euphorbia Peplus.
It has very recognized medicinal uses.
It must be treated with the utmost care by neophytes.
Beware, “it can be highly toxic and harmful without the necessary prevention”.
It has medicinal properties, but at the same time it is poisonous, the dose determines the difference.
The sap, a whitish latex, has been used for the treatment of skin lesions, especially warts, spots caused by the sun and calluses.
Other parts of the plant have been used as expectorants, anthelmintics, antipyretics and anti-inflammatories.
This latex, however, is highly irritating and caustic on skin, eyes and mucous membranes and poisoning with this plant can be serious.
It can cause alterations in the kidneys, liver and digestive system, produce stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory problems and even cause heart attacks.
Euphorbia Peplus , is a common plant of the Euphorbiaceae group.
The components of its milky sap are being studied for the treatment of skin cancer, leukemia, warts and sunspots.
Recent research on Euphorbia Peplus has shown that a wide range of cancer cells is very sensitive to this substance.
Attention!!!! This species is included in the list of plants whose sale to the public is prohibited or restricted due to its toxicity.