Euphorbia arborea

Valley of the Temples

Valley of the Temples

It is a shrub, high up to 3 meters, typical of the Mediterranean maquis. The etymology of the name Euphorbia is controversial. According to some sources, such as Pliny the Elder, the name is attributable to Euphorbus, the personal doctor of Mauretania`s King Juba, who used the juice of the plant in his potions. According to other sources, the term Euphorbia is formed by two words "eu" -good and "phorbe" - pasture. It is found in dry and calcareous areas. The result is an unique variation of colours of the landscape in constant changing. In winter it is green and has a spherical form, in spring its flowers are yellow and at the beginning of summer they become red before falling off. The branches, when tore off, have a white liquid inside, which stings in contact with the skin. In popular medicine it was used to remove warts (as with the fig). It is told by some legends, that the liquid produced by the branches have magical properties and the sorceress Circe used it for her spells.

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  • Title: Euphorbia arborea
  • Location: Agrigento, Italy, 37.290879,13.585206
  • Rights: Photo Archive Parco Archeologico e Paesaggistico della Valle dei Templi