Euphorbia resinifera

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Euphorbia resinifera
Euphorbia resinifera.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: E. resinifera
Binomial name
Euphorbia resinifera

Euphorbia resinifera (Resin spurge) is a species of spurge native to Morocco, where it occurs on the slopes of the Atlas Mountains.[1]


It is a shrub growing to 61 cm tall, forming multi-stemmed cushion-shaped clumps up to 2 m wide. The stems are erect, succulent, superficially like a cactus, four-angled, with short but sharp pairs of 6 mm spines on the angles, spaced about 1 cm apart up the stem.[1]


It is similar to its relative Euphorbia echinus, which occurs on the Moroccan coast and the Canary Islands.

Chemical constituents[edit]

Euphorbia resinifera contains a high concentration of the toxin resiniferatoxin which is being used as a starting point in the development of a novel class of analgesics.[2] Recent research has shown that this toxin exhibits its effects by interacting with TRPV1, a known pain sensing cation channel that also responds to capsaicin, the primary vanilloid compound found in hot peppers.


  1. ^ a b Huxley, A, ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. ISBN 0-333-47494-5
  2. ^ Appendino, G. & Szallasi, A. (1997) Euphorbium: Modern research on its active principle, resiniferatoxin, revives an ancient medicine. [1]