Queensland Government
Queensland Health
Health Services > Queensland Poisons Information Centre

Plants and mushrooms

Candelabra cactus

Candelabra cactusclose up of Candelabra cactus
Category 2 toxicity iconCategory 3 toxicity iconCategory 4 toxicity icon

 Common name   Candelabra cactus
 Botanical name   Euphorbia lactea
 Other common names   -
Family   Euphorbiaceae
 General description   A leafless, succulent shrub with angled stems and short, brown to black spines. The stems are usually dark green marbled with white or pale green. Grown as an ornamental.
Flowers   The flowers are yellow, and very small to insignificant.
Leaves   There are no leaves.
 Fruit/Berries   The fruit are 3-lobed capsules, rare or absent in cultivation.
Other   The sap is copious, milky and corrosive. Stout sharp spines are present along the angled stems.
Symptoms   The sap causes skin rash and blisters, intense burning and, if splashed into the eye, temporary blindness.  The stout, sharp spines can also cause mechanical injury.
Toxicity category   3
Warning   For all eye exposures by sap rinse the eye with water for 15 minutes. Then seek medical assistance.


Last Updated: 24 August 2010
Last Reviewed: 30 October 2008