Euphorbia ferox is a spiny succulent shrublet branching at
the base, it will form rounded clusters up to 60 cm in diameter.
Stem: It has columnar spiny succulent green
stems, about 5 cm in diameter.
The stem looks like a green corncob with thorns.
Ribs are linear with minimal cross-channels.
Spines: The spines are indeed solitary sterile
peduncles. They are
very numerous, about 6 mm apart, stout, spiny rigid, 1-6 cm straight ,
reddish turning purple and finally grey.
E. ferox cristata
is a very beautiful strong green crested plant with intricately
undulating fan-shaped branches, like the standard form produces
beautiful pinkish-violet spines on the new growth.
Cultivation: It is an easy
to grow plant for pot culture. It grows well in a very draining mineral
potting substrate, but it isn't picky about soil. The area to which
this plant is native receives rains in both winter and summer, so it can
be watered moderately all year around (except in the coldest month of
the winter, as it rots easily, especially if overly wet). During the
summer they enjoy average feeding and watering. When dormant in winter,
keep it totally dry at or around 4°C, even though it seems to tolerate
light frosts well. Mature healthy plants are tough and can also be
grown out-of-doors where frost is not too severe, but when left out it
is more sensitive to frost. They do need a lot of light to keep their
compact growth-form, but different clones vary in their tolerance of
full sunshine. But best colour if grown in protection in light shade,
where the thick purple spines of this low-growing clumping columnar
plant have the best colour. Sometimes, in really hot full sun all day
long, a plant will bleach out a bit
Propagation: It is
propagated by cuttings (It branches enthusiastically, and offsets are
readily available). If you remove an offset, remember to let it dry for
a week or so, letting the wound heal (cuttings planted too soon easily
rot before they can grow roots). It is better to wash the cut to remove
Warning: As with all other
Euphorbias when a plant get damaged it exudes a thick white milky sap
known as latex. This latex is poisonous, and may
irritate skin. Pay
extreme attention not to get any in your eyes or mouth.
Cultivated plants must be handled carefully.
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and
cultivars of Euphorbia ferox.