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EUPHORBIA coerulescens

Image of Euphorbia coerulescens

James H. Schutte

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Botanical Name

EUPHORBIA coerulescens

Plant Common Name

Blue Euphorbia, Soet Noors

Special Notice

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

General Description

What makes this plant different from the many other large branching Euphorbia species is the thickness of the branches, which are also more rounded. It is a native of South Africa where it is known as the blue euphorbia, they can be found on rocky slopes with extreme drainage and full sun. This plant is also unique in that it spreads by rhizomes into large colonies of tightly packed vertical branches. They rise upwards from the soil, occasionally branching, but usually just at the tip. Paired thorns line the extruded margins of each vertical segment. But this plant also is divided in to horizontal segments.

This euphorbia blooms in late spring to summer, producing abundant, densely packed buds at the branch tips. Its flowers, known as cyathia, are produced between spine pairs, with small green fruit that follow. Because this plant is largely found on rocky hillsides, it is ideal for rock gardens and slopes where runoff is assured. While it may grow in full sun in the wild, these plants should be protected from direct afternoon exposure in the west, particularly in low desert conditions. This is among the few euphorbias that lack the caustic latex sap and therefore has been fed to livestock during periods of prolonged drought.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    14 - 15

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    2'-6' / 0.6m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Sienna

  • 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

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No