PlantsEuphorbias→Euphorbia (Euphorbia polygona)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up African Milk-Barrel
Give a thumbs up Euphorbia

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
Plant Height: 2 feet
Fruit: Pops open explosively when ripe
Flowers: Other: In the genus Euphorbia, the flowers are reduced in size and aggregated into a cluster of flowers called a cyathium (plural cyathia). This feature is present in every species of the genus Euphorbia but nowhere else in the plant kingdom.
Flower Color: Green
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Provides winter interest
Will Naturalize
Dynamic Accumulator: B (Boron)
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Toxicity: Other: All members of the genus Euphorbia produce a milky sap called latex that is toxic and can range from a mild irritant to very poisonous.
Propagation: Other methods: Offsets
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Female, late winter

This plant is tagged in:
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Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Feb 20, 2017 12:15 PM

This variable South African columnar succulent, which may be globose when young, resembles a cactus. Forms in cultivation tend to offset a lot over time near the base. They are easy, rewarding plants in cultivation given excellent drainage and strong light. They are excellent subjects for photography of the stem and especially the cyathia.

E. polygona has absorbed E. horrida (green cyathia) and E. anoplia (red cyathia), the latter now a variety. With the merging of E. horrida there are now a number of other varieties associated with E. polygona, trying to account for the natural variability.

To favor a more solitary growth habit and/or a larger main stem, remove offsets regularly. If propagation is your aim, do this when they are still small (so they're not all packed in together and hard to separate), but after they have grown roots so they are independent when they are separated. Stem cuttings can also be easily rooted. Avoid any contact with the white sap (extreme irritant), and wait a week or more after breaking up a clump to water.

In my experience these plants vary in their resistance to herbivores. E. polygona var. anoplia is edible to hares but var. polygona is not; hybrids of the two are edible to rodents.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Untitled by jmorth Mar 1, 2013 2:40 AM 4
Family history by Baja_Costero May 3, 2018 10:00 PM 0
Family history by Baja_Costero May 3, 2018 10:03 PM 0
Family history by Baja_Costero May 3, 2018 10:06 PM 0
Photo shows, 10 days of positivity by Gina1960 Jan 6, 2021 4:34 PM 223
Share your Euphorbia photos by Baja_Costero Apr 18, 2021 4:39 PM 121
Banner for June 2, 2020 by Baja_Costero by Baja_Costero Jun 4, 2020 4:39 AM 7
Cubiformis + strange looking succulents by BrendanCS Apr 14, 2019 1:21 PM 46
Cactus and succulents chat by Baja_Costero May 6, 2021 10:22 PM 9,935
Two Cacti ID's Please! by ljones26 Aug 1, 2017 9:59 AM 7
Banner for May 20, 2017 by Baja_Costero by Baja_Costero May 20, 2017 8:40 AM 10
Cactus and tender succulents chat 2017 by Dutchlady1 Jun 10, 2019 6:45 AM 1,215
Love them Euphorbia by Reine Jul 8, 2018 5:45 AM 33
Cactus blooming.. by GordonHawk Oct 10, 2017 4:35 PM 31

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