Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Lao Botany: The Dok Setthi or Euphorbia

In earlier posts, we examined the Fantome du Laos, a Lao tomato that traditional folklore says indicates the presence of spirits nearby by glowing at night. The Euphorbia or Dok Setthi is a popular Lao plant also called the "Rich person's plant" because those who successfully grow this thorny specimen are prone to attracting money to them. 

Interestingly, Chinese traditional medicine, it is believed to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Western herbalists have long considered it a powerful laxative. Today, the sap is considered very dangerous to handle and in extreme cases can cause inflammation and even permanent eye damage including blindness. 

To grow them requires loose, well-drained soil and bright light, but be sure that there is sufficient protection of their roots. Water weekly, and use 5-10-10 fertilizer with low nitrogen.

Good luck!

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