Euphorbia virosa or the gifboom (poison tree) in Afrikaans is found in the Richtersveld and western areas just south of the Orange River, in Namibia and Angola. As with many Euphorbias the milky latex exuded by the plant when damaged is poisonous. This one’s latex is extremely dangerous as it was one of the plants used by the Bushmen for poisoning their arrow tips when hunting game.
The plant may be single stemmed with a twist or spiral that can be seen in the edges on the main stem. It may also be multi-stemmed from ground level, or form clumps of several stems growing close together with a densely integrated root system. The branches higher up do not normally spiral. The shrub or small tree can reach 3 m. in height. Stems have four to eight edges that are densely populated by pairs of spines (www.cactus-mall.com).