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Euphorbia obesa subsp. symmetrica (Stone Spurge)


Scientific Name

Euphorbia obesa subsp. symmetrica (A.C.White, R.A.Dyer & B.Sloane) G.D.Rowley

Common Names

Stone Spurge


Euphorbia symmetrica

Scientific Classification

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


Euphorbia obesa subsp. symmetrica is a striking, succulent plant, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) tall, that grows in the form of a somewhat flattened sphere. Straight lines from the apex radiate out, indicating the edges of the equal sectors of the regular structure. Each sector is characterized by a row of dots along its midrib, the marks left by old discarded cyathia. As the plant grows, the cyathia are replaced by newer ones, new flowers, at the inner end of each row over time. The color of the plant skin or surface may be green or purplish to pinkish, probably also changing somewhat seasonally and with sun and water supply.


USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

As Baseball Plant often grows in partial shade in its native habitat, place it on a windowsill where it receives sun for only part of the day, preferably during the morning. If you move the plant outdoors during the summer, adapt it to the increased light gradually and position it under the high shade of a tree or shrub, where it will receive direct sunlight only at times of the day when the sun is not directly overhead. If it begins to lose its plaid coloring, it needs more light.

Like most succulents, Baseball Plant will rot in soggy soil, so keep it in a clay pot filled with a potting mix intended for cacti and succulents. Use a pot with at least one drainage hole. If you don't have such a mix available, you can create your own.

From spring through fall, water the plant thoroughly about once a week until water runs from the pot's drainage holes. At each watering, add a liquid 10-10-10 plant food at one-quarter strength, which should be about two drops of the plant food in 1 quart of water. Stop fertilizing the plant during its dormant winter period, and allow its soil to dry out before you water it again.

Only repot the plant when its girth grows large enough to press against the edges of its current container. Handle the plant carefully, preferably wearing gloves, because the white sap it exudes when broken can irritate the skin.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.


Native to South Africa (Cape Province).


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