The genus Euphorbia is widespread in warm and temperate climates worldwide. They are very different plants in shape and size, ranging from small trees and shrubs that seem to be cactus to very succulent herbaceous plants. Euphorbia means ‘well fed’ in Greek and apparently the generic name comes from Euphorbius, physician to the king of Numidia, Jubax II (first century BC), who discovered the medicinal virtues of the species growing in his kingdom.
Of all the species of this family, the ingens, which means huge, is in fact the largest and can reach 10 are arranged like a candelabra.
It is thus an unique plant, between cactus and tree, beautiful but poisonous: the milky latex of Euphorbia ingens is extremely toxic and can cause skin damage and blindness both to livestock and humans. Anyway, applied correctly, it can have medicinal uses as a purgative or to treat ulcers. It is even said that the South African people from Sotho and Venda use it to cure cancer.