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EUPHORBIA tirucalli 'Sticks-on-Fire'

Image of Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks-on-Fire'

Felder Rushing

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Botanical Name

EUPHORBIA tirucalli 'Sticks-on-Fire'

Plant Common Name

Finger Plant, Indian Tree Spurge, Pencil Plant, Sticks-on-Fire Spurge

Special Notice

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

General Description

This brilliantly colored succulent is beloved by modern landscape designers who use its fiery color for accent and focal point. 'Sticks-on-Fire' develops its best hues during short days of winter provided it is grown in full sun. The origin of its green parent species is probably coastal Mozambique, with this strongly tinted variety is a contemporary selection. This coloration reduces chlorophyll, which stunts these plants to less than a third of its parent.

'Sticks-on-fire", commonly called firesticks is a fast growing plant that and blooms modestly if at all in spring. It produces slender segmented stems that when new bear tiny leaves that soon drop off. Gradually stems harden off to a thick woody trunk. Overall the form is amorphous and bushy, but it may be pruned into more attractive shape. This is one of the heaviest latex producers of all species of Euphorbia which share the same milky white sap. It is caustic and therefore plants must be handled with care to avoid contaminating the eyes. Beware of use where pets and children share its space.

This species is more tolerant of poor drainage than many other succulents. This explains its success in bedding plant pots for color and textural accent. It is also quick to strike root from cuttings. Though tolerant of poor sandy ground, it will grow much faster in well drained sandy loam with generous moisture. Tolerance of salt air makes it an excellent accent for coastal homesites. Consider this frost sensitive plant low desert hardy, when protected from hot afternoon sun that can burn the foliage or stunt growth.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 13

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Rose

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No