Euphorbia bupleurifolia Jacq.
Pine Cone Plant, Leafy Pine Cone, Pine Cone Euphorbia
Euphorbia proteifolia, Tithymalus bupleurifolius
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs from Walmer in Eastern Cape to Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, growing on gravelly flats.
Euphorbia bupleurifolia is a small succulent that develops a fat brown caudex with spirally arranged tubercles, corky scars of fallen leaves, and a tuft of long green leaves at the top, resembling a pineapple. The stem grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, usually unbranched or sometimes few-branched. Leaves are oblanceolate, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. Flowers are yellow-green at first, becoming reddish, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) in diameter, cupped by two ovate bracts, and appear in the center of the tufted leaves on up to 2 inches (5 cm) long stalks in spring.
USDA hardiness zones 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. These plants 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 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 them with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.
These succulents can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). They are 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.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.
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