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Euphorbia gottlebei

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Scientific Name

Euphorbia gottlebei Rauh

Scientific Classification

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Euphorbioideae
Tribe: Euphorbieae
Subtribe: Euphorbiinae
Genus: Euphorbia

Description

Euphorbia gottlebei is a succulent shrub, up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, very similar to Euphorbia milii. The primary stems are up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) thick, densely spiny and branching annually. Thorns are up to 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) long, stiff, with a wide base. The short twigs (spurs) that also appear among the thorns on the stem leaves are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long. The leaves are narrow and slender, up to 6 cm long forming a compact canopy, found mainly on new growth, shedding seasonally during the dry season. The inflorescences, bearing 4 to 16 small carmine flowers, are produced below the branch-tips. The flowers are small, subtended by a pair of conspicuous petal-like bracts, usually orange-red.

Euphorbia gottlebei

Photo via davesgarden.com

How to Grow and Care

Euphorbias are very easy to care for. They require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. In fact, more die from too much care and watering than from neglect. Euphorbias need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerant wet soil. Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well. It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water whenever the soil is dry several inches below the surface. Water deeply, but don’t let them sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot. Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.

Euphorbia can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). It is usually propagated by cuttings. This can be tricky, because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. They tend to grow problem free, but there are a few pests and diseases to be alert for… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.

Origin

It is endemic to Madagascar.

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