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Euphorbia esculenta (The True "Vingerpol")


Scientific Name

Euphorbia esculenta Marloth

Common Names

The True "Vingerpol"


Euphorbia inermis var. laniglans

Scientific Classification

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


Euphorbia esculenta is a succulent shrub with underground caudex up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. The whole cluster of branches reaches up to 10 inches (25 cm) in height and up to 16 inches (40 cm) in diameter. Branches are up to 8 inches (20 cm) long. Flowers are white with yellow reproductive organs and clustered at the end of branches.

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

How to Grow and Care

Euphorbia esculenta is an easy species to grow that is suited for any well-drained soil in full sun. It is cultivated as an ornamental and is a particular favorite of succulent plant enthusiasts. This is a relatively slow-growing and long-lived plant. Once established it will be content in its position and with its soil for years.

This spurge likes deep pot with generous drain holes to accommodate its taproot. It needs a very airy potting medium very permeable to water which mainly consists of nonorganic material such us clay, pumice, lava grit, expanded slate, and only a little peat or leaf-mold. Repot every 2 years.

Euphorbia esculenta can tolerate moderate shade and a plant that has been growing in shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun as the plant will be severely scorched if moved too suddenly from shade into sun.

Water regularly during the active growing season. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. Keep almost completely dry in winter. However, this succulent will tolerate dryness and can even thrive in poor, dry soils, but do better when grown in nutrient-rich soils with regular watering.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia esculenta.


Euphorbia esculenta is native to South Africa (Cape Province).


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