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Euphorbia ingens (Candelabra Tree)


Scientific Name

Euphorbia ingens E. Mey. ex Boiss.

Common Names

Candelabra Tree, Common Tree Euphorbia, Cactus Euphorbia, Cactus Spurge


Euphorbia similis

Scientific Classification

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


Euphorbia ingens is a succulent tree with a short trunk and dark green branches that form a rounded crown, often shaped like a balloon. It grows up to 40 feet (12 m) tall. Branches have 4 or 5 vertical ridges that bear small spines. From fall to winter, mature plants produce greenish-yellow flowers at the branch tips. Fruits are round, 3-lobed capsules that turn red to purple when ripening.


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. 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.

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.


Native to dry areas of southern Africa.


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