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EUPHORBIA atrispina

Image of Euphorbia atrispina

James H. Schutte

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Botanical Name

EUPHORBIA atrispina

Plant Common Name

Spurge

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

This rare species of succulent is among the most beautiful of its clan due to compact growth and mounding habit. It is native to rocky, dry inland mountain ranges of South Africa where it is often found among outcrops. This slow growing plant produces a single trunk that branches into many growing tips, producing a cushion-effect in gardens. The geometrical stems are angular, bearing dark red to black spines that give a higher aesthetic value, particularly for larger uniform specimens.

This plant blooms modestly in spring with small yellow flowers produced at the tips of the immature thorns. Like others of its kind, this Euphorbia contains alkaloid rich white latex sap that oozes at the slightest touch. The caustic latex is its primary protection against wildlife in the barren landscape. This succulent is typically grown in pots to better control moisture and light. In mild dry climates it thrives in ground, provided the soil is fast to drain, particularly during cool, damp winter months.

Characteristics

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Width

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Very Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No