Euphorbia misera Benth.
Euphorbia benedicta, Trichosterigma benedictum, Trichosterigma miserum
This species is native to southern California and Baja California.
Euphorbia misera is a succulent shrub with branched, erect or ascending stems with grayish-red to light gray bark. It grows up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall. Leaves are dull green, hairy, rounded, and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long. It is common for leaves to drop in summer. Flowers are hairy, yellowish, or white with yellow to red centers and appear in spring on inflorescences at the tip of the branches. The fruits are lobed, spherical capsules with gray, round, wrinkled seeds.
The specific epithet "misera" derives from a Latin word meaning "poor or wretched" and probably refers to the appearance of the plant after it drops the leaves.
How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia misera
Light: Most Euphorbias are sun lovers, but some will tolerate partial shade. Place your indoor Euphorbias on windows with southern or southeastern exposure.
Soil: Euphorbias require well-drained soil. They even thrive in poor, dry soils. Use a commercial mixture formulated for cacti and succulents, or make your own potting mix.
Hardiness: Euphorbia misera can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.
Watering: Succulent Euphorbias can survive drought, but do not mean that they need it. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry from spring to fall. Reduce watering in winter. Give them just enough water to prevent wilting.
Fertilizing: Every Euphorbia will benefit from fertilizer. Apply a balanced fertilizer in a 10-10-10 NPK formulation, diluted to 1/4 strength once a week during the growing season.
Repotting: Euphorbias do not need to be repotted every year. However, when your Euphorbia is outgrowing its pot, it is time to repot the plant in a larger pot and give it a fresh potting mix.
Propagation: The easiest and fastest method of propagation for many species is by using cuttings. Euphorbias can also be grown from seeds, but they can be difficult to germinate, even hard to find.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.
Toxicity of Euphorbia misera
All Euphorbias produce a toxic white milky sap and can irritate the skin and eyes. Therefore, it is best to keep the plants away from children and pets.
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