Euphorbia-Caducifolia- Euphorbiaceae-danda-thor-aravali-hills-succulent

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

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

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

Most people consider it a cactus. When I started searching for more information about this plant I found that it is succulent from a plant family called Euphorbia.

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 produces white latex-like substance when cut. They are found in temperate zones worldwide often resembling the cacti family. Cacti or Cactus does not produce a white milky substance.

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.

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.

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

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

Euphorbia-Caducifolia- Euphorbiaceae-danda-thor-aravali-hills-succulent
Beautiful pink-red flowers of Euphorbia Caducifolia/ Danda Thor

Benefits of Danda Thor

Leafless Milk Hedge is an important part of local ecology often providing shelter for the small reptiles. Here is a picture of Thor Danda from Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan.


The plant is supposed to have medicinal uses too. Recent claims suggest its use in generating bio-fuel and as a cure for leukemia disease.

Thar desert and Aravali hills are home to Euphorbia Caducifolia

The plant has the ability to adapt itself to local conditions, therefore, it is quite hardy and resistant.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.

Lifeless Milk Hedge during winters in Aravali hills

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

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

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 variants.  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. Have you ever seen Euphorbia caducifolia.?

Check out other stories in the Trees of Jaipur.

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

  1. Arv, I have seen these Leafless Milk Hedge plants in my vicinity and if I am not wrong it was in my aunt’s garden which I used to call cactus in my childhood. The flowers are pretty and they look strangely beautiful on these leafless thorny branches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you have seen Thor Danda. I saw these flowers in the wild. Yet to come across any in cultivated spaces. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sarmistha. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know this is not a typical garden plant or something of that sort but I don’t know how and for what intension they got the plant, to me as a child it was just another cactus along with the other cacti.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Arv, I brought back a cutting from India about 18 years ago. It took a long time for it to bloom, but now it goes off every year. What type of low temperatures can it tolerate? We do freeze in Texas.

    Liked by 1 person

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