Common name: Leafy Milk Hedge, Holy Milk Hedge, Dog’s Tongue • Bengali: sij • Hindi: Katathohar, Senhur, Sij, थोर Thor • Kannada: dubbakalli, dundukalli elegalli, gutagalli • Malayalam: ela-calli, ilakalli • Marathi: thor, nivarang, seej • Oriya: svarasana • Sanskrit: adhoguda, gandira, guda, mahavrksha • Tamil: ilakalli, manjevi, nanangalli, • Telugu: akujemudu, akukalli, bonthajamudu ;
The woody spiny species of Euphorbia can be separated as under:
Stem rounded, not angled or winged:………. E. nivulia
Stem angled or winged
Angles not produced into wing, spirally arranged:……. E. neriifolia

Angles produced into wings
Wings 3-4
wings running straight, sinuate, regularly dentate,……E. antiquorum

wings running spirally, …………..
E. tortilis
Wings 5-6, undulate………..
E. royleana


Tree for ID Tiruvannamalei, Tamil Nadu NAW-OCT-05 : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1).
Kindly identify this forest tree photographed near the peak of the Arunachala hill at Tiruvannamalei, Tamil Nadu, in Sept 2014.
About 4 metres tall.
Possibly Euphorbia nivulia.

This is definitely Euphorbia nivulia Buch.-Ham. distributed throughout India.

In this case, i happened to come across a description of Euphorbia nivulia in a book and so formed a tentative opinion of what the species might be based on the regular arrangement of spines on the branches. This opinion has been confirmed by the experts at efloraofindia.

Hooghly2015Mar01sk01 : Euphorbia what ? : 21 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (8)
This is often planted on roadside SHIV-MANDIR or some other diety. I couldn’t find spine on the stem and branches, probably due to age. I didn’t have scale or ruler with me. But leaves are, I think, more than 8 cm.
Photographs were taken on 28.02.2015.

Leaves are about 15 cm in length. All visible branches near the periphery bear no spine.

I can’t think of anything other than my be euphorbia antiquorum?
don’t know if it can grow in the Ganges delta though

It can’t be E. antiquorum because 1) stem is not 3 angled, 2) number of cyathium as explained by … in another thread. It’s overall look, I think, rather similar to E nivulia. But then again number of cyathium per peduncle and prickle are problems I think.

This is a crooked shrubby plant found on roadside. The appearance is like that of a crooked E. nivulia. But, I couldn’t find any spine on its trunk and branches. I have examined several branches. The leaves of this plant is about 15 cm long.
Upon receiving … advice I pray to you for your opinion regarding this species.

e nivuluia is supposed to have five ridges, isn’t it?
your stems here are round
so there’s the rub
lets see what experts say

We have the KEY to Euphorbia in our database – /species/a—l/e/euphorbiaceae/euphorbia.
According to that KEY, please see key-13a, E nivulia would have rounded stem.

I have examined the details as can be seen in the photos. It appears to be near to E. nivulia but there are differences.
Your plant does not show any indication of spines, not even remnants of fallen spine clusters.
Further the cyathia are all solitary, whereas in E. nivulia, they are mostly in diads or triads.
Therefore, I am unable to identify this species. Probably it is an introduced species.

I also noted the two differences, of spines and number of cyathia, nowhere I could find that cyathium can be single in E. nivulia. I will keep a watch on this particular plant and upload photographs of fruits when I find one. Also will note if any inflorescence develops triad cyathia.
Thank you very much Sir. I am also grateful to …

The cyathia very much resemble E. nivulia, both in colour, peduncle length, glands, etc. Even cyathia are in pairs as we can see scar of fallen one, we can even see vestiges of two cyathia on the top of peduncle on either side of central cyathium. Even leaves resemble. The only feature not seen is the spines, which can’t be ignored in this genus.

do you think we may have another Burbank in our own West Bengal temple yards? so that the trees don’t need their thorns?

Thank you …, thank you … What is Burbank? I will follow the development of this plant. Meanwhile more photos, recorded on last Monday.

Well , Nobody seems to have caught that… you are the only one who asked…
Burbank is a city in California named after Luther Burbank… a humanist, horticulturist,  Botanist and my hero.. ever since I read about him in one of the numerous American magazines my dad used to get.. I was may  in grammar school.. or younger… i was very impressed with the.. spinless cactus  its a   part of a small write up at this url… they have been writing about him since about 1901… wiki has a page …   and more intense and human interest and science related write up is in this book Rupa publications book . called THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS…  reading this book sparks interest in many things including Botany plants and their living systems /processes …
he was spiritual and used to tell his spiny nasty plants that they did not need the thorns, he was not going to hurt them and he would protect them… several generations later the thorn less plants were emerging..
(I don’t want to argue with any self-styled  the hard nosed non-believers about this, so nobody should bother attacking me) … (its a fact or a myth, if you read  mythology like Ramayana and Mahabharata, bible, old testament stories etc. and believe them then where ‘s the problem with Burbank???))
… his spineless plants reverted back after his death!!!
SO my comment was tongue in cheek reference that::   ?? are the temple folks in India generating spineless euphorbia ??? in their yards like  so many Modern day Burbanks….

I googled and found that Burbank is US city. Rest of the story is wonderful, I love it, be it fact or fiction.

I apologize. This shrub or crooked tree has spines. But, I confirm only 10% branches or less bear spines. I have checked all accessible branches today. A few bear spine at the green apical region, spines in the same branches are missing at lower part. Spines are about 5 mm. Attached here a new set, recorded today.
Attachments (6)

The new  photos clearly show minute spines. Also the cyathia show two buds on either side indicating that they are in triads.
Therefore you can confirm that the species is E. niuvlia.

I am grateful to all of you. This is a wonderful learning session. I have never before realized that number of cyathium is the most important KEY in this genus.
I thank you very much. I thank … and all. I wish to believe Burbank is not all fiction, at least in aged tree.

you are consistently persistent
I like that a lot
so now we have the definitive diagnostic feature
well I like the conclusion …

This is the current state of the tree, photographed today. The tree is yet to develop any fruit. Attachments (7)

These pictures further confirm that the plant is Euphorbia nivulia.

Thank you. this case was educational

Thanks for your persistence, … i learned something

Thank you Didi, it was a wonderful experience to record gradual changes in the inflorescence of this Euphorbia.

Hooghly2015Mar_sk02/02: Euphorbia sp. : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (14)
This is about 10 ft Euphorbia tree which looks similar to E. nivulia Buch.-Ham., planted again at roadside temple. Leaves are 15 cm or more long.

This also seems to be E. nivulia as per another thread

yes similar

I have recorded fruit pictures of this Euphorbia nivulia on the day before yesterday.
I thank you all very much. Attachments (3)


Euphorbiaceae Fortnight : For ID : Muscat,Oman : 061113 : AK-12 : 6 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)
This Euphorbia seen at a friend’s garden.
Seems like Synadenium grantii, but it has tiny spines.
Not seen it flowering.
Id please.

One of my earlier posts. Yesterday, I saw it flowering.
Original plant was bought by my friend from India.
Attachments (9)

Looks like Euphorbia nivulia

This seems to be Euphorbia nivulia L., common in dry regions of India, Middle East and Africa

Id required. : 5 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (1)

This plant was photographed at GKVK campus Banglore. As i was concentrating on insects, the full profile of the plant is not visible. However I have a video which shows the entire plant. I have uploaded it on Flickr and can be seen here:
If possible request id.

Euphorbia nivulia, I suppose.
But let’s wait for experts’ comments.

Yes, this is E. nivulia Buch.-Ham., characterised by terete stems.


Euphorbia(?) for ID, Auroville, Tamil Nadu NAW-MAR17-09 : 8 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (3)
Kindly identify this spiny succulent, possibly a Euphorbia, photographed at Auroville, Tamil Nadu in March 2017.

Appears to be Euphorbia nivulia Buch.-Ham.

This is Euphorbia nivulia.

Yes, This succulent tree is Euphorbia nivulia.


Euphorbia nivulia : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)
Photographed by Dinesh Shirodkar ji from a garden in Kolkata and identified by Balakrishnan Sir. This was a shrub, ca 2 m high.
I am sharing this here as I have never seen such numerous flowers in this species.

Euphorbia Neriifolia blooms : 5 posts by 3 authors. 1 image.
Euphorbia Neriifolia
Original plants – Khajuraho, Maharashtra, India.
A piece of wood was found in Khajuraho during a trip to the waterfall in 2016, it took 2 years to build a strong root system. In 2018, the first flowers appeared – only 2-3 flowers.
In the current year (2019), one can see how Euphorbia Neriifolia is blooming. Current location – Delhi.

love it. patience paid off.
…, i have a question. what in the wood had attracted your attention two years ago? do you have a picture of the originally woody sample?

Thanks! Yes, I have pics.
Trees near waterfall.
Before traveling to waterfalls in the vicinity of Khajuraho, I saw spurge plants only in nursery, small sizes, mainly the following types of euphorbia: Euphorbia Mile, Euphórbia tirucálli, Euphorbia trigona.
But in Khajuraho I was struck by the fact that spurge grows in the form of huge trees.
I managed to find a branch of one of these trees, which is rooted for happiness.
Waterfall. Khajuraho
4 images.

… so this was the mother plant? impressive. I love the intricate dance of the wavy branches.

I think it should be Euphorbia nivulia as per keys, images and details herein.

The plant shown in the photos is Euphorbia nivulia Buch.-Ham., not E. neriifolia, which has triognous branchlets.

Euphorbia ligularia : Attachments (4). 1 post by 1 author.
Euphorbia ligularia
At Sagargad, Alibag

I think it should be Euphorbia nivulia as per keys, images and details herein.

The plant is Euphorbia nivulia Buch.-Ham. As the branches are terete, it cannot be E. ligularia Roxb., which is a synonym of E. neriifola L.

Indian Spurge Tree is a succulent plant with twisting columnar branches. It is often mistaken for a cactus. Leaves come out in the late summer/ fall. Flowers are small, yellow, like small buttons, alternating with the thorns, all along the stem, arranged spirally. This plant is native to India.

I think it should be Euphorbia nivulia as per keys, images and details herein.

Yes. This is Euphorbia nivulia Buch.-Ham., as the branchlets are terete and not angular as in E. neriifolia L.



Hooghly Today : Euphorbia nivulia Ham.:
This seems to be the Euphorbia nivulia Ham. (Euphorbia nivulia Buch.-Ham.?), SIJ (সিজ) in Bengali.
ID Help : efi thread

I think you right


Ex-situ Silviculture : Euphorbia neriifolia L. : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (3).

I think it should be Euphorbia nivulia as per keys, images and details herein.

Yes. This is Euphorbia neriifolia L., as the branches are angular.

I do not see it angled as in other images at Euphorbia neriifolia
Can not it be Euphorbia nivulia only ?
I see a similar plant posted as Hooghly Today : Euphorbia nivulia Ham.

Yes, you are right. The stems are not angled. This could be only E. nivulia.

Ornamental Plant for ID : Euphorbia : Muscat,Oman : 231212 : AK-3:
An ornamental plant seen in a home garden here in Muscat on 29/1/2011.
No flowers seen by me, only leaves.
This resembles the African Milk Bush, Synadenium grantii but is having tiny spikes.

It may be Euphorbia neriifolia.


on the way to Sagargad, Alibaug (10-01-2010); Euphorbia sp??110110-PKA1 – efloraofindia | Google Groups


Euphorbia for identification 190412MK01: no images can be seen now.
Please help me to identify this cactus like plant.
Place: Danishpettai RF, Salem dist., TN
Altitude: 423 M asl
Date: 12 April 2012
The leaves were withered off and I didn’t noticed any flowers or fruits. The maximum height I saw was of c.5 metres and a girth of 40 cm.

Euphorbia nivulia.

Very unique stem!

Is this plant native to peninsular India?

The identification may need to be reconsidered in light of key on our website /species/a—l/e/euphorbiaceae/euphorbia

and these links for E. nivulia
and these for E. caducifolia

My plant here bears leaves of more than 10 cm long and spines about 0.7cm and hence little confusing (possibly variation). I would have to visit the place sometime again to ascertain the measurements and possible flowers.
The image of E.cauducifolia in tropicos.org doesn’t match with the Euphorbia I posted here.

Thanks … I will wait for more responses.

…: Yes, E. nivulia is wild in peninsular India.
Global distribution: Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Yes, it is Euphorbia nivulia.


? Euphorbia nivulia : 4 posts by 3 authors. 4 images.
observed in Satara , Maharashtra yesterday

I also feel close to Euphorbia nivulia as per keys and details herein.

Yes. This is definitly Euphorbia nivulia Buch.-Ham. The branches are terete, not angular as in E. neriifolia L.


414 ID wild tree: 17 high res. images.
Please ID wild tree,
Location: near Vannappuram, Thodupuzha, Idukki Dist., Kerala PIN:685607
Altitude: 1500fsl
Flower date: 21JAN2023, 06.10pm
Habitat: wild moisture shady
Plant habit: small tree, erect, branches, semi hard cylindrical stem 15 inches base circumference, silverish rough bark, thorny, latex
Height: 03 meters
Leaves: alternate whorled, spatulate oblong, obtuse acute, soft flexible, fleshy, smooth glossy, size upto:22×7cm, thickness: 02mm
Flower: axillary bud inflorescence, diameter:02cm, green, non fragrant
Camera: CANON EOS1500D +FL10x

Euphorbia !

It is Euphorbia nivulia Buch.-Ham. at young stage of cyathia (flowers is nothing but cyathia here in Euphorbia)

Yes, it is !

Yes it is Euphorbia nivulia, dear …, thank you very much for ID my plant


Euphorbiaceae: Euphorbia nerifolia: 1 image.
Euphorbia nerifolia

This appears to be (as per keys herein):



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