Sunday, March 24, 2013

Euphorbia ferox

Okay okay I know its been a long time since Ive posted anything.

I Had to move and now I'm in a completely different climate than Colorados High Alpine Desert, with a wopping 245 days of sunshine per year.

Now I'm in a Basin. Where the natural soil is Alkaline and there's about just over 300 days of sunshine each year.


More posts on what Cacti and Succulents I was able to keep for my travel and their growth coming soon!

Onto Some interesting Cacti!

Euphorbia Ferox 

This is not a recommended plant if you have animals that like to chew on plants.
Family: Euphorbiaceae

Scientific name:  Euphorbia ferox
Described by Dr. Marloth in 1913

 Euphorbia ferox belongs to a group of plants, together with the closely related species Euphorbia pulvinata and Euphorbia aggregata, which can be recognised by their striking growing-shape.  They consist mostly of compact, multiple-branched and heavily-thorned cushions. These species are closely related, and for an outsider it's very difficult to distinguish them. There are differences though. The english nickname "pincushion" says enough.
Origin: South Africa, Great Karoo area (the distribution-area starts in the east around Graaff Reinet, and from there to the west until Beaufort West. )

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

Common Name: Pincushion Euphorbia 
Synonyms: Euphorbia caespitosa

Decription: Small 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.


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.

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