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Euphorbia Poissonii

What is Euphorbia Poissonii?

Euphorbia Poissonii is a decorative toxic succulent member of the plants' extensive and varied spurge family.

In North America, it is commonly used as a decorative plant with no commercialization. Commonly known as Candle Plant the Cylindrical Euphorbia.

Commonly used now in countries throughout Africa such as Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Guinea, and Cameroon.

Uses of Euphorbia Poissonii

  • Poison Darts (arrow poison)

  • Chronic Pain - currently being researched

  • Cancer - some tribes use this for fighting against cancer

  • Ulcers - can be used for curing ulcers

  • Pesticides - used commonly in Nigeria

  • Toothaches

  • Tooth Extraction

  • Laxative - mixed with sugar cane or palm wine

  • Additive - added to snuff to increase the pungency

  • Bait - rats, mice, and other small rodent poison

  • Skin Treatment - ointment used for treating scabies on dogs

There are current studies for new uses of Euphorbia Poissonii for acute pain and terminal illnesses entering animal and human trials. As modern medicines are being developed and researched we could see more exciting use cases for this plant's latex in the future.


Typical propagation is done by seeds. It can be difficult to propagate by seed. It can be propagated utilizing the cuttings. Since this plant bleeds latex it is best practice to let the wound heal before planting for at least fourteen days.

Note: Pay close attention to where the stem cutting is made to minimize damage to the plant. The cutting should be made as close to the base of the branch as possible.

Habitat and Origin

Tropical West Africa and the Ivory Coast regions. A preferred altitude of 400 to 700 meters above sea level. It is commonly stated it originated in Nigeria but this is not a factual statement. It tends to grow in well-drained soil. It does not grow well in highly saturated soils. It has a higher than normal tolerance for a wider range of soil ph. They can not tolerate over-saturated soils.


The plants' latex is toxic and can be harmful to humans and animals. When the plant is damaged it will bleed or discharge a thick white milky sap known as latex. Latex is the toxic substance of the plant. This latex has been known to cause blindness along with other known symptoms.

Commercialized By-Products

The products most sought after from the latex is Resiniferatoxin and Tinyatoxin. This has been sold or traded in the international markets for several years.

Plant Description

A succulent shrub-like plant that can grow as high as 3 meters. It can have one or several upright columns all topped with bright green leaves in season. Blossoming usually takes place after the dry season.

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