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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Feb 15, 2014 2:15 PM CST


While visiting a yard sale this morning, I came across this huge specimen tree of Euphorbia tirucalli!
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Feb 15, 2014 2:22 PM CST
Yes, what a huge specimen! and the dense branching is amazing...
Name: 'CareBear'

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Stush2019
Feb 17, 2014 3:00 PM CST
Holy Cow!!!! I did not know they grew so large. I would hate to run into that thing. Heard so many bad things about the sap.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 17, 2014 3:39 PM CST
And they are all true. It is one reason why you rarely see them get this big.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Feb 19, 2014 2:11 PM CST
Stush, a fig tree has latex sap, as well as morning glories, Plumeria, Asclepias (milkweeds,) poppies, some dandelions, Celandine. Are you allergic to it?
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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 19, 2014 3:04 PM CST
The sap of all Euphorbias tends to be much more of an irritant than the above mentioned plants. I personally know 3 people who have ended up in the ER after getting the sap of the Pencil Cactus in their eyes.
Name: 'CareBear'

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Stush2019
Feb 19, 2014 3:08 PM CST
I have cut and pulled all those plants with out ever having any problems. Also the Asclepias are so toxic that it could poison honey that the bees were feeding on. But still no problems untill I pulled and cut down a Hardy Euphorbia Myrsinites, "Myrtle Spurge" and give to a friend. Washed hands a hour later but then rubbed my eyes. Holy crap on a stick, my eyes burned. Washed out with 'Head n' Shoulders' and was ok. It works on poison ivy also for me. Guess I was lucky.
Stush
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Feb 20, 2014 9:45 AM CST
Yes, though for some, all of these are equally menacing. A horrible rash is just that, regardless of the degree of latex that caused it. I didn't bother to type that to parrot something I've read or whatever, but because I've experienced horrible rashes personally from these plants except the Euphorbia and Plumeria because I knew ahead of time (and haven't had poppies since 'becoming' allergic.) I went through hell trying to figure it out and was just trying to prevent anyone else who reads this from the same suffering. Yes, there's plenty of info out there if you realize some of your 'old friends' are suspects.

I used to NOT be sensitive/allergic to Ipomoeas (morning glories, sweet potato vines, moonflower vine,) fig trees, and Asclepias FOR SURE. My daughter and I had monarch caterpillars hatching in the house, and I picked leaves for them daily, and handled broken parts of several Asclepias species regularly. When I was a kid, I thought the sap was the interesting part, break off the stalk and watch it ooze out, I definitely touched it and definitely didn't go wash hand after. Same thing with dandelions that drip white stuff.

I've been picking figs for years, and using the leaves to make a tea for fertilizer but am suddenly not able to touch the sap at all w/o getting a rash. I've had various Ipomoeas for decades, which I would propagate constantly all summer, DEFINITELY getting sap on myself with no ill effects. Now it gives me a rash. Last summer a neighbor came by and asked if I could pick some figs for him because he was newly allergic to the sap also.

So, yes, I would say you were lucky. Something that was completely harmless to your particular skin yesterday may not be tomorrow. Sensitivity to urishiol can also be transient and variable for a single person throughout a lifetime, and latex sensitivity is equally as unreliable.

I will continue to share this info in hopes that it saves anyone else the extended misery I experienced trying to figure this out, operating under the same false assumption that any plant that was harmless before should/would definitely still be. Spending 2 summers with 'constant mystery poison ivy' is really uncool and unpleasant, and you can still see where some really bad spots were, some 2 years ago now.

Though less of an irritant these other plants may be, I wouldn't attempt to 'rank' the experiences (going to ER for sap in eyes vs. excruciatingly itchy, oozing dermatitis that lasts for about 2 weeks and occupies every waking moment with misery and prevents sleep) since thankfully I haven't experienced the former, but simply hope folks could avoid any of this via prior knowledge.

I have Ipomoeas, Euphorbias (including about a dozen pencil cacti scattered around different pots,) Plumeria. There's no reason not to have these plants, not saying that at all. Just that touching the sap could have consequences, which I or anyone can avoid by not touching it.

If a search happens to bring this up for anyone else investigating a mystery rash, consider any Aroids or Commelina family members in your collection. Philodendron, Tradescantia, Callisia.


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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 20, 2014 10:16 AM CST
Very well put; I myself developed an allergy to Mangoes which went from irritant to the skin to major overall allergic reaction whenever there is a tree in bloom nearby. So I am (painfully) aware that we can develop these things over time.
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Feb 26, 2014 2:54 AM CST
Hetty that is terrible. Mangoes are the fruit of angels.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 26, 2014 4:48 AM CST
Glen, I agree and fortunately I can still eat the fruit in limited quantities, I just can't touch the skin (or for that matter go near the tree).
Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
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jojoe
Mar 11, 2014 5:38 AM CST
I just ran into this post and that TREE makes my plants look really bad.

The silver pot on the end is the best picture i could find of my pencil cactus.I received it as 2 cuttings.
Thumb of 2014-03-11/jojoe/0d4204
This is them over the summer & now
Thumb of 2014-03-11/jojoe/deae16 Thumb of 2014-03-11/jojoe/e10adc
I propagated this one last spring.It has grown a good bit now.
Thumb of 2014-03-11/jojoe/701aec

I have 2 plants and a couple rooting.I only want one of the bigger plants if anyone would like cuttings of this plant i would love to start cutting limbs off to send.

A green thumb comes only as a result of the mistakes you make while learning to see things from the plants point of view!!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Mar 11, 2014 10:58 AM CST
Those look great, J! Hope you have the same easy luck making babies with this plant as I have. I've stuck pieces in most other pots of succulents, it just looks so cool sticking up weirdly and colorfully above the others.
Thumb of 2014-03-11/purpleinopp/5cb315

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Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
If a door closes look for a window!
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jojoe
Apr 13, 2014 12:47 PM CST
I had an awful thing happen the other day and not really sure what to do.So i come to you all for advice. My 2 pencil cactus where sitting on the ground and they were really dry because i do let them dry out a good bit before waterings.I believe my dog knocked them over and the plants came out of the pots and i didn't realize they were gone for about 24 hours maybe a little more.I re-potted them and watered them.All of the older growth on the plants seem fine but all of the new growth will not stand back up.

Thumb of 2014-04-13/jojoe/dbe1e6
Thumb of 2014-04-13/jojoe/31981c

Should i remove the new growth that seems to have given up and let the plant get on with healing itself and producing more new growth?
A green thumb comes only as a result of the mistakes you make while learning to see things from the plants point of view!!
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Apr 13, 2014 1:52 PM CST
No, let it sit for awhile longer to see if things go back to normal, especially if the new growth wasn't broken bent...
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
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SongofJoy
Apr 13, 2014 1:53 PM CST
I agree
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
If a door closes look for a window!
Heucheras Plant and/or Seed Trader Hostas Hummingbirder Region: Georgia Cactus and Succulents
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jojoe
Apr 14, 2014 7:35 AM CST
Thank You!
It's been about a week & a half maybe even 2.I have noticed the oldest new growth has stood back up.It was the largest,so i guess the strongest.

Normally this plant stays in the sun and goes very dry between watering.Should i put it in the shade and not let it go so dry until it re-coops?

Thumb of 2014-04-14/jojoe/a20146
Here you can see the 1 new stem that did stand back up.The new growth it very noticeable because of it's lime green color! Thumbs up
Thumb of 2014-04-14/jojoe/0c0165

A green thumb comes only as a result of the mistakes you make while learning to see things from the plants point of view!!
Name: 'CareBear'

Sempervivums Hostas Dog Lover Irises Amaryllis Cactus and Succulents
Region: Pennsylvania
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Stush2019
Apr 14, 2014 8:14 AM CST
A lot of my skinny cactus seems to like it growing across the ground rather than straight up. So it may not go back up if it likes it where it is. I have to prop up and tie many of my plants until they stay that way. Unless I have it in a hanging basket, I want all my plants to grow straight up. Like a tree or bush. Also keep partial shaded until it recovers from it's shock. Try spraying the stems rather than soak the soil.
Not a fan of this Euphorbia but I love most of the others. So I can't be sure. Just a guess.
Stush
Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
If a door closes look for a window!
Heucheras Plant and/or Seed Trader Hostas Hummingbirder Region: Georgia Cactus and Succulents
Sedums Sempervivums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tropicals
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jojoe
Apr 14, 2014 8:36 AM CST
There is a picture on here some where that is just amazing of one of these tree's that's planted in a yard.It is HUGE. I wish i could remember where i seen it, you would get a kick out of it stush!! Thumbs up

The limbs that are hanging look a little damaged or really more wrinkled, i am hoping they will straighten out but i don't know.The 'fire sticks' is the only one i have.I love watching it turn such a bright red in the sun.

If i find that picture i will let you know.
Have a lovely day. Thank You!
A green thumb comes only as a result of the mistakes you make while learning to see things from the plants point of view!!
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Apr 14, 2014 8:55 AM CST
It's right at the top of this thread Hilarious! ^

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