This lovely popular dwarf succulent looks a bit little an itty-bitty
cycad, except for its simple lancelote leaves. Very different and
plant with a short caudiciform trunk that looks like a small pine cone
topped with a crown of green leaves.
Stem: It has a brown, spherical barrel-shaped or columnar caudex
that look alike a pinecone or a woody trunk. The stem which does not
photosynthesize is a reserve for water, and usually does not grow much
higher than around 20 cm and 7,5 cm thick.
The trunk has a geometrically-neat tubercled surface, and is usually unbranched.
Leaves: Deciduous and falling in the dry season, narrow or large,
in tufts on the stems apex, up to 15 cm long, light green, making it look
like a palm tree or a pineapple.
Flowers: The yellow solitary cyathia are quite small (about 5 mm
in diameter) cupped by 2 bracts each. They develop at the crown of the plant.
The peduncles fall away after drying.
USE: The latex of the Euphorbia
bupleurifolia is highly poisonous, but has been used as an
application to help cancerous sores, cracked skin on the feet and
various other skin disorders. However, the latex can be very dangerous,
depending on the dose given.
Cultivation: This is a small, slow-growing,
but easy to cultivate succulent euphorbia, and
is suitable as a container
plant (but it can grow in the ground in areas with
a mild climate).
It needs to be kept warm, not less than 10 C in the winter (but when
dormant and dry they are relatively cold tolerant). Sun Exposure: Light
shade. It grows well in a very draining mineral potting substrate.
not like its compost drying out for very long periods when the weather
is hot. It needs constant moisture during the Summer, but it doesn't like
winter water, as it rots easily.
Propagation: Usually by
Euphorbia Bupleurifolia Jacq.
[Pl. hort. schoenbr. 1:55-56. 1797] .
Origin: South Africa, widespread in
the Eastern Cape Province and KwaZulu-Natal.
Habitat: Tropical subarid grassland.
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
Common Names : Called the pine-cone plant by some, because
of the stem's resemblance to a pine cone.
The caudex has a geometrically-neat tubercled surface, and
is usually unbranched.