The Q&A Archives: Plant Identification

Question: I have a plant that I bought several years ago. It was about a foot tall at the time now it is about 5 feet. It has long pointy leaves about a foot from the top. The rest of the plant looks like a cactus. It has long needles about one to two inches long that really sting and hurt if they prick you. I can't find any one that knows what type of plant it could be. Everyone that sees it ask what it is. Please help if possible. It is to big to bring in the house this winter. I would like to know if it could be planted outdoors.

Answer: The plant you describe sounds very much like Euphorbia pauliana. The stem has thorns, arranged in spiral rows and the leaves appear at the very top of the stem. This plant comes from Madagascar and probably won't like spending the winter outdoors in your garden. Perhaps one of your gardening buddies would like to give it a home?

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