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Euphorbia ammak (African Candelabra)

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Scientific Name

Euphorbia ammak Schweinf.

Common Names

African Candelabra, Candelabra Spurge

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Euphorbia ammak is a large, tree-like succulent that grows up to 33 feet (10 m) tall. The upright broadly obconical crown of the plant makes it looks like a branched candelabra. The stem is erect, stout, and up to 6 inches (15 cm) wide. Spines are paired, brown, horn-shaped, and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) long. In a suitable climate, it will produce simple, lanceolate leaves near the top of each branch. Flowers are yellow-green and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

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 tolerate 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

Euphorbia ammak is native to Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

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