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      Euphorbia ferox forma cristata

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Euphorbia ferox forma cristata
 

This plant has pinkish-violet spines and produce a beautiful mound.
 

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Family: Euphorbiaceae

Scientific name:  Euphorbia ferox  Marloth 1913
Forma cristata

Origin Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)

Habitat: At some locations it is the most dominant vegetation, often growing together with Euphorbia esculenta and Euphorbia mammillaris.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common NamePincushion Euphorbia

Synonyms: Euphorbia caespitosa

Description: The 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.
Leaves: Tiny, ephemerals.
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 4C, 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 the latex.

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.

 
Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art files are now available also in the new the Encyclopaedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.