Boran (Omo); Digo (Utudi); English (Finger euphorbia); Kamba (Ndau); Kikuyu (kariaria); Luhya (Shikhoni); Luo (Ojuok); Maasai (Oloile); Marakwet (Asubgwa); Somali (Dana); Swahili (Mtupa mwitu);
|Distribution of Euphorbia tirucalli in Kenya|
|© Maundu P. and Bo Tengnas. (2005). Useful trees and shrubs for Kenya, World Agroforestry Centre.|
|Finger Euphorbia being used as a fence in Awasi|
|© Bo Tengnas|
General Information about the Tree:
Propagation and Tree Management
- Fuel; is a source of firewood where there are limited other options
- Medicine; improves the health of weak camels and fatten them.
- Fodder; good source of food for camels.
- Glue; it is locally used to paste papers together.
- Apiculture; it is a bee forage.
- Latex; is fish poison and used in making insecticides.
- Erosion control: Protects bare soil in dry areas from wind and water erosion. E. tirucalli fences can act as erosion breaks.
- Reclamation: E. tirucalli is very drought resistant and efficient in photosynthesis because of its unique photosynthetic physiology combining both the Crassulacean acid metabolism and the C3 pathways. It can be used in land reclamation programmes. In Zimbabwe plantations of E. tirucalli have succeeded in some instances at <5 000 p.p.m. in arsenic mine spoil mounds.
- Ornamental: Widely planted for ornamental purposes.
- Boundary or barrier or support: E. tirucalli is an extensively used hedge plant in rural areas of East Africa.
- Intercropping: The finger euphorbia is an ideal species for agroforestry offering little shade and having many other uses.
- Shade; it is a good shade tree in dry, hot areas.
- Ceremonial; used to mark graves in some communities
- Other services: The tree has a number of cultural implications in many African communities.