Euphorbia tirucalli

FLOWER COLOUR:  
AVERAGE SIZE (H) x (W): 3m x 2m
MAXIMUM SIZE (H) x (W): 5m x 2m
FLOWERING TIME:   J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:   J F M A M J J A S O N D

A small, succulent with several branches. It may a many grow into a small tree (3-5m tall), but is often a medium shrub, depending on the growing conditions. The bark on old specimens is grey and rough with longitudinal scars. The branches are cylindrical, smooth and glabrous-green, 5-8 mm in diameter, forming brush-like masses that are the best known feature of this species. Plants are without spines and contain large quantities of toxic latex which is freely exuded by the twigs and branchlets at the slightest injury. The leaves are rarely seen as they are tiny and only present on the plant for a short period. The thin twigs are pendant, pale green and occur opposite each other, alternate or in groups on the branchlets which gives a rather untidy and rounded appearance to the crowns.  The tiny yellow flowers are easily overlooked on the tips of the branches.  It bears tiny fruits which split whilst on the tree to release small black seeds.

ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS:
Euphorbia tirucalli produces yellowish flowers that attract butterflies, bees and other insects.

MAINTENANCE:
Low maintenance

WATER REQUIREMENTS:
Water moderately

GARDEN THEMES:
Bushveld, country, formal, rockery, succulent

LANDSCAPING USES:
These beautiful trees are best positioned in open, full sun positions on rocky situations such as a rock garden, embankment or gravelly slopes. It can be combined with water-wise plants such as aloes to create a stunning effect. They may also be grown as a hedge.
FLOWERS:
Almost inconspicuous yellow flowers are borne on the tips of the branches.
FOLIAGE:
The plant only bears leaves for a short duration of summer, so the small and slender (up to 12x1.5mm) leaves are rarely seen as they fall very early.

BARK:
The bark on old specimens is grey and rough with longitudinal dents and ridges that break up into small fragments. It is often marked with conspicuous, small protuberances, such as a bulge, knob, or swelling, on the bark, and occasionally black, rough, crosswise bands.
FRUIT:
The fruit are pale green with a pink tinge, tripartite capsules, about 12mm in diameter, and covered with soft hairs. The capsules dehisce while still on the tree.
CULTIVATION:
Euphorbia tirucalli grows moderately fast and thrives in moderate to warm climates. It does not cope with extreme cold. Plants can easily be cultivated by means of seeds, cuttings or truncheons. Fresh seeds must be sown in late summer from February to March and kept in a warm, moist area. Plants prefer to have their 'feet' dry especially in winter. Young plants grow relatively fast and will benefit from liquid fertilizers and well-composted, well-drained soils.

FULL GALLERY:
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