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I bet you wouldn’t have heard about Thor Danda!

Leafless Milk Hedge or Leafless Euphorbia also called Thhor Danda is not a name that you will like, instantly. Sounds little odd? Technically, its scientific name is Euphorbia Caducifolia. I have run into this plant many times while trekking in Jaipur.

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My first encounter with Euphorbia Caducifolia or leafless Milk Hedge during trekking in Jaipur

 

 

To an average person, it’s a cactus. When I started searching for more information about this plant I found that it is succulent from a plant family called Euphorbia.

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Euphorbia Caducifolia during monsoon season

 

Euphorbia is a genus of flowering plants in the Euphorbiaceae family containing around 2,000 species. It is supposed to be one of the most diverse groups of flowering plants on the planet. Euphorbia is also called Spurge and produce white latex-like substance when cut. They are found in temperate zones worldwide often resembling cacti family. Cacti or Cactus does not produce white milky substance.

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Euphorbia Caducifolia is mistaken as a Cactus variety

 

Euphorbia Caducifolia is known by many local names like Thor/ Thhor/ Danda-Thor. It is also known as leafless Milk Hedge as well as Leafless Euphorbia.

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Euphorbia Caducifolia can grow even in difficult and rocky terrain.

 

what is special about Euphorbia Caducifolia?

It is a tall multi-stem plant occurring in Thar desert as well as hilly tracts across Aravali hills. This plant covers complete hillock often growing to a humongous size.

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Euphorbia Caducifolia thriving in Jhalana Forest which now famous for the Panther Safari in Jaipur.

They appear in areas which undergo a dry season followed by monsoon rains. It produces a small red-pink flower. It looks beautiful with these flowers in full bloom.

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Beautiful pink-red flowers of Euphorbia Caducifolia/ Danda Thor

 

Leafless Milk Hedge is an important part of local ecology often providing shelter for the small reptiles. The plant has the ability to adapt itself to local conditions, therefore, it is quite hardy and resistant.

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Thar desert and Aravali hills are home to Euphorbia Caducifolia

 

One should avoid coming in contact with the white milky substance as it can be an irritant for the skin and eyes. If you do come in contact with its latex like white substance, wash immediately. The plant is suppose to have medicinal uses too. Recent claims suggests towards its use in generating bio-fuel.

 

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Lifeless Milk Hedge during winters in Aravali hills

 

Thor or leafless Milk Hedge is increasingly put in use for ornamental or beautification purpose – landscaping in urban areas. But in my opinion, they are best suited in their natural habitat -Aravali hills or Thar desert.

 

Let me show you a picture from my Instagram account in which Leafless Milk Hedge/ Thor Danda can be seen in its natural habitat.

Nature is beautiful and has so many unique creations. All species have a well-defined purpose.  Even though I have seen it many times over the last few years, it was only recently I stumbled upon its name leafless Milk Hedge. Like others, I also assumed this as one of the cacti variant.  Similar to Anogeissus Pendula or Dhok tree, this is a resident plant of Aravali Hills. I wrote about Anogeissus Pendula almost two years ago, I’m sure most of the readers must have missed reading this post. Here’s a link:

Have you ever seen Euphorbia caducifolia.?

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48 thoughts on “I bet you wouldn’t have heard about Thor Danda!

    1. There are so many unique plants and trees around us. We hardly known about few of these. I mistook this as a cacti until recently. I thought of sharing because I’m sure none of us know much about this plant. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Cornelia, There are many similar plants from this family. there is an entire site devoted to its variant. I also chanced upon it today. Even Agave which is found in California is also from this family. 🙂

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    1. Alok, Thanks for offering your point of view. For nature lovers it is but natural to know a bit more about elements of nature. It is slowly that I have started paying more attention to trees and plants. rust me, it is interesting! BTW, many of these pictures were not clicked for this post. When I clicked some of those pictures, I had no idea about its name.

      For that question, will send you details, very soon! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Although I’m pretty certain that I’ve never seen that plant in the UK, Arv, I new there was something about the name Euphorbia I’d heard before, somewhere in the distant past. So I did a quick check to find there are so many species including Poinsettia which are common in the UK at Christmas time. You have to make sure that you don’t let pets or children touch the sap as it can be poisonous or an irritant just like your Leafless Milk Hedge

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    1. I have heard this name but it is not very popular here in India…may be because it is not native to this region. The entire genus of Euphorbia consists of 2000 variety…so it is huge and I’m sure there’s one for every region. Even Agave (native to N America) is also from this family! I’m sure some people will start thinking about Tequila after hearing this name! 😉
      Thanks for your input on Euphorbia, Mike!

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    1. Thanks, Parul. I have been seeing this plant for three years but only recently I found out its name. I would have loved to post it for your Thursdaytreelove but I had this deadline for blog chatter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. At first even I thought it was from the cacti family …… till I read your post. I really found it pretty. In fact even the cacti family have beautiful blooms.

    Thor Danda …… sounds like a superhero’s super weapon 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for kind words of appreciation. I feel we know very little about the world around us. Nature is truly remarkable and we should observe and learn from this strong force that is present around us. What kind of succulents are in your region? looks like you have some knowledge about plants 🙂

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  3. Actually I remember this from Childhood because my Mom was growing it in a pot! Yes. I remember it because of its beautiful flowers and the milky sap. I don’t remember if the sap used to itch or not, but my Mom had is trucked us kids to strictly stay away from it. But then she used to say that about every plant at home because she loved her plants too much 😀

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      1. Totally. Always saw her puttering around with pots. Even my MIL is a huge gardening enthusiast. So I learnt from her too. If I could I’d put a plant in every corner of the house but eh… They are very snooty buggers

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