Poisonous Succulents

What does it mean that a particular succulent is poisonous? Let’s talk about Euphorbias…

Do you know what is used in leather polishes and for waterproofing certain products, mixed with rubber it is used for insulation, used in sealing wax, metal lacquers, paint removers and lithographic colors?

It is the milky sap from a Euphorbia. … (O)ne drop of latex material on your skin from one of these plants can cause a rash, the severity of which depends on how an individual reacts to it…

I know several people who have had problems with Euphorbias… All have described the horrible pain in their eyes from brushing with a gloved hand or wiping their face with a shirtsleeve that was coated with sap.

So, poisonous as in painful, but not deadly. Not that I would ingest it, mind you. Euphorbia sap, especially from the common houseplant Euphorbia tirucalli, is a common enough irritant that there’s a known antidote – the tiny leaves of the miniature Aeonium lindleyi. Yes! If you have a lot of Euphorbias around the house, and especially if you have kids too who like to touch your plants, then I recommend have a nice little Aeonium lindleyi around the house. All the Euphorbia growers do.

We also recommend some of the shrubbier Euphorbias as deer-resistant and we like the Euphorbia myrsinites as a gopher-resistant plant and then any of the Euphorbias makes a good cat deterrent too, if you don’t mind them crying a little. It’s bad enough they’ll learn to stay away, but not so bad as to cause permanent damage. Generally.

  Cactus and Succulents
  Carnivorous Plants

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September 2023

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