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  Euphorbia horrida Boiss.
  Family Name : Euphorbiaceae

  Common Names : African Milk Barrel

African Milk Barrel
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      1 m to 1.5 m
      Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width :
      0.1 m to 0.5 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      South Africa
      Native Habitat :
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Desert / Arid
      Local Conservation Status :
      CITES Protection :
      True (Appendix II)
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Clump-forming succulent up to 1-1.5 m tall.
      Stems: Erect, bluish green stem is cylindrical (75 cm tall, 10-15 cm wide) and composed of 10-20 flattened ribs which are often wavy. Each rib is armed with orange or grey, spine-like structures (4 cm long) which were originally stalks that bore the cyathia (the inflorescence), but later dried and hardened.
      Flowers: Like other Euphorbia species, it produces a cyathium (plural: cyathia, a tiny inflorescence that resembles a single flower, having male and female flowers surrounded by petal-like bracts). The green and yellow cyathia are produced singly along the ribs of the stem.
      Cultivation :
      This species usually does not have any disease problems, but is sometimes attacked by mealy bugs. It should be fed with a low nitrogen liquid fertiliser. This species reaches a maximum height of 1-1.5 m after 10-20 years.
      Etymology :
      This species is often known by its synonym 'Euphorbia horrida'. The horrida specific epithet means spiny.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Stems
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, [Remarks] (This species grows best in a well-draining mixture of loamy compost and sand.)
      Landscape Uses :
      Container Planting
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Rockery / Desert Garden
      Usage Hazards / Cons :
      Spines/Thorns - Stem/Branch, Toxic Upon Ingestion, Irritant - Sap, [Remarks] (All parts of the plant are very toxic. The sap may irritate the skin and eyes.)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Little Water
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Sucker
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Unisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Green, Yellow / Golden
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Inflorescence Type :
  • References

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