Euphorbia lugardiae (N.E.Br.) Bruyns
Monadenium lugardiae, Euphorbia lugardae
Euphorbia lugardiae, formerly known as Monadenium lugardiae, is a much-branched succulent with green, cylindrical stems with a diamond-shaped pattern of flattened tubercles. The stems are fleshy, erect or shortly decumbent, branching from the base, and can reach (60 cm) in length and 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. The tubercles have circular leaf scars at the tips. The leaves are fleshy, deep green, obovate with crisped margins, and are spaced on the upper portion of stems or in a terminal tuft.
The cyathia (false flowers) are produced in abundance during the fall. They have cup-shaped involucres with glands along a cream-colored to yellow rim. The fruits are capsules with pale brownish-grey seeds.
Euphorbia lugardiae is native to South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo), Eswatini, Botswana, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. It grows on granite outcrops and among rocks at elevations of up to 3,610 feet (1,100 m).
USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °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 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. Feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly if you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor.
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.
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