Succulent Euphorbia Category Page
Succulent Euphorbia Category Page

Succulent Euphorbia Category Page

Euphorbia horrida 'Snow Flake'

In the vast world of succulent Euphorbia species, there are many forms and shapes. The web site is the most complete reference we've found for identifying the many different specie. We will only catorize some of the forms that we have had hands on experience with here. This section does not cover caudex forming Euphorbia. Those are covered here. Euphorbia plants have one thing in common, they excrete a white liquid when the skin is broken called latex. This latex is a repellent to protect the plant against predators. Depending on the species, the latex can be very poisonous, or be a nasty irritant to the eyes and sinuses. Be careful when handling Euphorbia plants and always wash your hands after being exposed to the latex.

A short List of Succulent Euphorbia Plants

Type 1 - Thick Columnar Stems that Form Clumps Like Hedgehog Cactus

This type of Euphorbia has many thick succulent branches that are upright and have ribs. The ribs are lined with spines that are formed from the stems of spent flowers.

Euphorbia horrida E. cv. Snowflake E. polygona E. resinifera
Succulent Euphorbia horrida Succulent Euphorbia snowflake Succulent Euphorbia polygona

Succulent Euphorbia resinifera

Type 2 - Many Thin Straw-like Stems

This type has thin succulent smooth stems forming a low growing shrub. The stems can be upright or drooping.

Euphorbia antisyphilitica
E. aphylla E. mauritanica
Euphorbia antisyphilitica Euphorbia aphylla Euphorbia mauritanica

Type 3 - Small Shrubs with Thin Flexible Sectioned Succulent Branches.

This type of Euphorbia forms a low growing mound of flexible stems. Each stem is formed by sections of an inch or more in length. A leaf may be anchored at the joint of two sections.

Euphorbia gariepina E. hamata
Euphorbia gariepina Euphorbia hamata

Type 4 - Euphorbia with Relatively Small Succulent Stems that have a Ball or Cylinder Shape.

The typical species here is Euphorbia obesa. A single stem forms a fat ball shape with no leaves or other stems. It will eventaully become cylindrical. In the case of E. meloformis, new globular stems form on the ribs of older stems until a mound of 50 or heads are clustered together.

Euphorbia obesa E. meloformis E. gymnocalycioides E. pseudoglobosa
Euphorbia obesa Euphorbia meloformis Euphorbia gymnocalycioides Euphorbia pseudoglobosa

Type 5 - Tree growing Euphorbia

The typical species here is Euphorbia ingens or E. lactea. A tree Euphorbia can grow to be 30 to 50 feet tall with many branches. Can only grow in frost free climates.

Euphorbia ingens E. lactea

These are just a few of the many succulent Euphorbia. There are many more, even within each type. It's a lifetime of learning.

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