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Euphorbia neorubella (Red Monadenium)


Scientific Name

Euphorbia neorubella Bruyns

Common Names

Red Monadenium, Red Monadenium Bonsai Tree


Monadenium montanum var. rubellum, Monadenium rubellum

Scientific Classification

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


This species is native to Kenya (Machakos County).


Euphorbia neorubella, formerly known as Monadenium rubellum, is a caudiciform plant with a large, rounded tuber or cluster of several smaller tubers. Stems are erect at first, then decumbent, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long, and up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter. They are green with longitudinal purplish-green stripes. Leaves are dark green on top and reddish underneath and grow from the tip of the stems. They are with both ends acute, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long, and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) wide. Flowers are pink to red, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, and usually appear from spring to summer.

The specific epithet "neorubella" derives from the Greek "neos," meaning "new" and the Latin "rubellus," meaning "little red," and refers to the reddish appearance of the species.

Euphorbia neorubella (Red Monadenium) aka Monadenium rubellum

Photo by Luca

How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia neorubella

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 antiquorum 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. From spring to fall, water when the top inch of soil feels dry. 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. 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 neorubella

All Euphorbias produce a white milky sap that is toxic and can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. It is best to keep the plants away from children and pets.


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