The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Euphorbia

Family: Euphorbiaceae.

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Common name(s): Poinsettia, Milkweed, Spurge
Euphorbia Genus of about 2000 species of annuals, biennials, evergreen, semi-evergreen, or herbaceous perennials, deciduous or evergreen subshrubs, shrubs and trees and succulents, from a temperate, or tropical and subtropical regions. Euphorbias are often mistaken for cacti because of their columnar shape and spines. They are succulents like cacti but also, usually, have leaves. There are two common types of Euphorbia, woody stemmed plants like poinsettias and crown of thorns, and the smooth cacti - like Euphorbias.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth from spring to autumn - minimum 50F in winter.Semi-shade or bright light. Some shade in summer may be necessary. Keep compost moist at all time. In winter water very infrequently. No need to mist the leaves. Take stem cuttings.
Euphorbia flanaganii
Common name: Medusa's Head.

Small container size plant from S. Africa. Tolerates low light levels. This variety will do well as a houseplant in locations with short periods of direct sun and some indirect or filtered light. Minimum temperature: 50F.

Euphorbia flanaganii
Euphorbia leuconeura
Euphorbia leuconeura Common name: Madagascar Jewel.

Native to the dark forests of Madagascar, this is a shade loving Euphorbia that self seeds freely. Grows to about 28" (70cm) tall. It is shaped like a miniature palm tree. The leaves are covered with a milky white bloom that adds to the interest.

It is very easy to grow the plant, it shoots away the seeds, just place them back in the pot and give enough water.

Euphorbia leuconeura
Euphorbia millii
Euphorbia millii Common name: Crown of Thorns.

Bushy, slow growing, semi-succulent shrub with slender, fleshy, thorny stems. Origin: Madagascar. Min. temperature - 54F (12C).

Euphorbia millii
Euphorbia pulcherrima Klotzsch (Poinsettia pulcherrima Grah.)
Euphorbia pulcherrima Klotzsch (Poinsettia pulcherrima Grah.) Poinsettia is most popular at Christmas but may stay ornamental until March or April. A growing area with full sun is needed. Water when the soil surface feels dry. Ideal temperatures are 70 to 75 F during the day and 62 to 65 F at night. The plant is cut back after blooming. Cuttings may be grown into blooming plants or the old plant may be re-flowered. To bloom for Christmas, the plant must be given 14 hour nights beginning in early September. Over- or under- watering, or hot or cold drafts cause leaf drop. Euphorbia pulcherrima Klotzsch (Poinsettia pulcherrima Grah.)
Euphorbia tirucalli
Euphorbia tirucalli Common name: Pencil Cactus.

Bushy succulent with fleshy, segmented, bright green stems and linear to linear-lance-shaped, short-lived leaves, 1/2" (1.5 cm) long. Tropical E. and S. Africa. Min. temperature - 50F (10C).

Euphorbia tirucalli
Euphorbia triangularis
Large succulent tree from southern Africa. The upright angular branches are ridged and segmented, with extremely thorny margins. The small leaves are short-lived. Can grow to 60 ft (18 m). Euphorbia triangularis

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