Euphorbia neriifolia (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Euphorbia neriifolia L.


Protologue: Sp. pl. 1: 451 (1753).

Synonyms

Euphorbia ligularia Roxb. (1832).

Vernacular names

  • Common milk hedge, hedge euphorbia, oleander spurge (En)
  • Indonesia: sudu-sudu, susudu, susuru
  • Malaysia: sesudu, sudu-sudu (Peninsular)
  • Philippines: bait (Pampangan, Tagalog), soro-soro (Tagalog), sorog-sorog (Pampamgan, Tagalog)
  • Thailand: som chao (central)
  • Vietnam: x[uwlơng rồng, x[uwlơng rồng rào, xương rồng ta.

Distribution

Probably of South-Asian origin, but nowadays locally cultivated and naturalizing in Sri Lanka, India, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand and throughout the Malesian region except for Borneo; also occasionally cultivated in other tropical regions.

Uses

In Malaysia and the Philippines, the latex from heated leaves is applied externally to relieve earache. The latex may also be used as a purgative, diuretic, vermifuge, and to treat asthma. In Guatemala, the latex is applied on haemorrhoids. In El Salvador, it is used to relieve sore throat and cracked lips, and also to cure gonorrhoea. In the Moluccas, the bark has been used as a strong purgative. The root is considered antiseptic. In India, the latex is used to remove warts and cutaneous eruptions. The leaves and roots have been used as a fish poison. E. neriifolia is fairly commonly planted as a live fence and for ornamental purposes. When boiled with syrup the leaves and slices of the branches can be made into sweetmeats. The nicely figured and aromatic wood is used for small objects such as kris handles. The leaves can be eaten, even raw. In India, the latex is smeared on cuts in Borassus flabellifer L. made by tappers, in order to prevent attack by red weevil.

Observations

An armed, succulent shrub or small tree up to 8 m tall, branches obtusely 5-angular, with pairs of spines of 4-12 mm long arising from the ribs; leaves alternate, obovate to narrowly oblanceolate, (5-)15-30 cm × (1.5-)2-7.5 cm, base cuneate to attenuate, apex rounded, margin entire, glabrous; inflorescence lateral, composed of 3-7 cyathia on short, rigid, forked peduncles, bracts ovate; cyathia with 5 oblong glands, 1.5-2 mm × 4-5 mm; capsule 10-12 mm in diameter, glabrous. E. neriifolia grows well in dry, often rocky places.

Selected sources

97, 202, 287, 580, 638, 979, 1126, 1128, 1135, 1178, 1181, 1183, 1184, 1185, 1186, 1311, 1380.

Authors

Nguyen Nghia Thin & M.S.M. Sosef