Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 1
 [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: EUPHORBIA AT LOWER SABIE
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:46 pm
Posts: 22
Image

Image
Image

On a visit to LS last week we parked our motorhome behind the ablution block under the cluster of Euphorbias, when a man approached me to warn me about the poisonous milk sap of the trees. According to him someone else parked there the previous week and some of the sap dripped onto his windscreen. He wiped it off with a cloth but somehow some of the stuff still got onto his hands. He then touched his face and the stuff got into his eyes. The upshot of it was that he had to go to the doctor.
The next day someone even pitched his tent under these trees.
As a kid we used to shoot these trees with a catapult to see the white sap streaming from the wound and once I touched the sap. I wiped my finger on my pants but what little was left on my finger nevertheless got into my eyes when I later touched my face. My skin developed large blisters and I could not see out of my eye for 2 days.
The bad news is that it is very easy to break the skin on the leave to let the sap flow. Any child with a stick or a sharpish stone can do it.
The guide to the trees of SA by the van Wyks states inter alia: "The milk sap is very poisonous and can cause blisters on the skin and temporary or permanent blindness if it gets into the eyes. The sap can also be taken as a laxative in small doses but several deaths have been recorded from an overdose"

Maybe management at LS should look into the matter before a real tragedy happens.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: EUPHORBIA AT LOWER SABIE
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:49 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:21 am
Posts: 3704
Location: SA
FAC Member (2013)
Hi Madalla thanks for the interesting information and photo's :thumbs_up: . I have seen some of these trees in other camps as well, if I am not mistaken in Satara, in the parking area at reception but there is a signage that say “poisonous”. There may even be other indigenous plants in camps that are poisonous too.

_________________
Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we'll soon be in trouble.
Roger Tory Peterson


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: EUPHORBIA AT LOWER SABIE
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:22 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 7799
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
I have to agree that its not the most ideal plant to have in a camping area. :?

We had one in our house once and when our gardening assistant cut it down, despite me giving him gloves and goggles to wear still managed to get the minutest amount in his eye causing him great pain and me a lot of worry.

I also remember seeing those ones at Satara with the signboard warning people to the danger. .

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: EUPHORBIA AT LOWER SABIE
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:01 pm 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Posts: 10427
Location: meandering between senility and menopause
FAC Member (2013)
Very interesting. It does sound as though it would be useful to have a sign.

Thanks for the photograph :thumbs_up: Now I know what to avoid.

_________________
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: EUPHORBIA AT LOWER SABIE
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:20 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:21 am
Posts: 3704
Location: SA
FAC Member (2013)
I suppose it the “milk” or sap in the stems of the trees that are under pressure and even a slight tear can let the poisonous milk flow and a person should try to avoid contact. I remember a few years ago whilst driving to northern Kruger we saw a lot of those trees in Limpopo that have died. I am not sure whether the cause why so many died over the same period was ever established.

_________________
Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we'll soon be in trouble.
Roger Tory Peterson


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: EUPHORBIA AT LOWER SABIE
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:31 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:22 am
Posts: 601
Location: Pretoria
:hmz: shame, the poor Euphorbia's (which has been standing there for decades -- possibly close to or more than a hundred years-- to reach that size) are only trying to defend themselves with their milksap... (against herbivores and children with sticks and pea-shooters etc. :lol: ). I think a little sign with information on the tree (education! - always a good idea!) and a warning that the sap is poisonous and can burn skin and eyes should be sufficient. (I always get so sad when I see people cutting down trees for no good reason at all - and in a National park it would be even worse. :cry:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: EUPHORBIA AT LOWER SABIE
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:53 am 
Offline
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Posts: 17943
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
From the Euphorbia page on Wikipedia:
Quote:
The milky sap of spurges (called "latex") evolved as a deterrent to herbivores. It is white and colourless when dry, except in E. abdelkuri, where it is yellow. The pressurized sap seeps from the slightest wound and congeals after a few minutes in air. The specific composition of diterpene or triterpene esters varies, and determines how caustic and irritating a particular species is. In contact with mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth), the latex can produce extremely painful inflammation. Therefore, spurges should be handled with caution and kept away from children and pets. Latex on skin should be washed off immediately and thoroughly. Congealed latex is insoluble in water, but can be removed with an emulsifier like milk or soap. A physician should be consulted if inflammation occurs, as severe eye damage including permanent blindness may result from exposure to the sap.

_________________
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: EUPHORBIA AT LOWER SABIE
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:59 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Birmingham - UK (the original and still the best!)
In UK they would be a compensation claim waiting to happen. :whistle:

_________________
"Birmingham people, you guys take care of us. We have to give you all the respect Birmingham."

(Usain Bolt August 2012)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: EUPHORBIA AT LOWER SABIE
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:46 pm
Posts: 22
Brummie That is exactly why I raised the matter.

Those trees are dangerous and at ground level where any child can get at them. Rather take pre-emptive action then having to say I am sorry after the tragedy. Indeed, a tragedy was barely averted some weeks ago, according to the gentleman who first spoke to me about the matter.

It will be impossible to fence them off effectively as the trees in the photo are right on the verge of the road.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: kellyee21, solarized and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Jurie van Vuuren at 12:26:03 Submitted by teddy_rsa at 13:37:01 Submitted by Eloise01 at 14:31:12 Submitted by woodsy at 07:34:20