The firestick cactus is known by many names: the Indian tree spurge, the milk bush, the naked lady and the pencil tree.

This succulent cactus has a corrosive, dangerous, irritating, or downright toxic sap. The word "succulent" simply means that this plant is juicy with these fluids.

Part of the danger is that the firestick cactus is easily bruised, so the milky sap can easily be liberated from the plant.

In the summer of 2010, Pastor Rick Warren received hospital treatment after getting some firestick cactus sap in his eyes. The author of "The Purpose-Driven Life" had apparently been gardening.

Firestick Cactus by Atamari

The Best Growing Conditions for the Firestick Cactus

Gardeners talk about "cactus-friendly" potting soil; that's the "right stuff" here.

Firestick cactus likes sunshine and dry warmth. The thick leaves hoard moisture, although it appreciates a little rain or watering if the ground becomes bone dry.

Southern California and similar climate zones are good for this naked lady cactus. She dislikes frost or cold rainy winters.

Firestick Cactus by H. Zell

Pastor Warren may have been pruning his Indian tree spurge, which does have a tendency to grow tall and top-heavy. He probably took the sensible precaution of wearing gloves before dealing with his firestick cactus, but likely rubbed his forehead and put a few drops of its dangerous sap onto his forehead.

Its intense colours make the firestick cactus a strikingly beautiful, if dangerous, addition to a hot arid garden.

[Mike has written two other articles on this subject.
Firestick Cactus: The Plant with Acid Sap! told much the same story, while The Firestick Cactus: Garden With Care provides more of a slant towards science and gardening].

9/5/2013 01:00:08 pm

Found this link while searching Google, thanks


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    Mike DeHaan

    Mike DeHaan began writing professionally in 2010 as the sole proprietor of DeHaan Services.To see this information with the best background image, please refer to "About.Me",  befriend me at Facebook, or circle me at Google+.


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