Euphorbia resinifera

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Resin spurge
Euphorbia resinifera.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Tribe: Euphorbieae
Subtribe: Euphorbiinae
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 centimetres (24 in) tall, forming multi-stemmed cushion-shaped clumps up to 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) wide. The stems are erect, succulent, superficially like a cactus, four-angled, with short but sharp pairs of 6-millimetre (0.24 in) spines on the angles, spaced about 1-centimetre (0.39 in) 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, Giovanni; Szallasi, Arpad (1997). "Euphorbium: Modern research on its active principle, resiniferatoxin, revives an ancient medicine". Life Sciences. 60 (10): 681–696. doi:10.1016/S0024-3205(96)00567-X.