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Euphorbia grandicornis (Cow's Horn)


Scientific Name

Euphorbia grandicornis Goebel ex N. E. Br.

Common Names

Cow's Horn, Cow's Horn Euphorbia, Big Horn, Big Horned Euphorbia, Big Horned Spurge


Euphorbia grandicornis subsp. grandicornis

Scientific Classification

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


Euphorbia grandicornis is an upright, multistemmed succulent shrub up to 6.6 feet (2 m) tall and about the same in width. The stem is up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, 3- or 4-winged, irregular, constricted in broad, twisted, with triangular segments about 6 inches (15 cm) long. The leaves are tiny, scale-like and appear between the spines in summer. The spines are grey or brownish, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long and joined, forming a horny continuous ridge. The flowers are brilliant yellow, just above the spines, usually on mature plants.


USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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 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.

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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia


Native to South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Kenya.


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