Wallace Spurge
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Wallace Spurge
E Naturalized Photo: Saneesh CS
Common name: Wallace Spurge • Hindi: त्रिधारा Tridhara • Kannada: Mandagalli • Malayalam: Kallimullu • Sanskrit: वज्र वृक्ष Vajra-vriksa • Tamil: Kattimantu, Palkalli • Telugu: Aavijamuku, Kattimandu
Botanical name: Euphorbia lacei    Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Synonyms: Euphorbia trigona Roxb., Euphorbia barnhartii

Wallace Spurge is a spiny, evergreen, fleshy plant looking rather like a cactus. The species name lacie is in the honor of William A. Wallace, 19th century plant collector. It is a shrub up to 2 m tall, with stems round, pale green, branches 3-winged, long flexible, looping downwards. Modified leaf bases are projected, 1.5 by 2 cm long; spines 2, spreading, 2-3 mm long, straight, black. Leaves are stalkless, obovate, obovate-oblong, narrowed at base, entire at margin, blunt to somewhat pointed at tip, 3-5 x 2-3 cm, fleshy. Cyathia are solitary or in triads; middle one stalkless, ones glands stalked; 5, involucre top-shaped, transversely oblong. 4-5 mm. Capsules are ovoid, about 4 by 5 mm. Wallace Spurge is native to Borneo, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand. It is cultivated in India, and probably naturalized in many parts. Flowering: December-February.
Medicinal uses: The fresh milky juice is a direct irritant both when taken internally and applied externally. Taken in very small quantities, it is a drastic purgative. The juice from heated leaves is used for ear ache. Latex is applied for muscle pain, wounds and ulcers by Chenchus of Andhra Pradesh.

Identification credit: Milind Girdhari, Tabish Photographed in Anantapur distt., Andhra Pradesh.

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