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Euphorbia pulvinata (Pincushion Euphorbia)


Scientific Name

Euphorbia pulvinata Marloth

Common Names

Pincushion Euphorbia

Scientific Classification

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


Euphorbia pulvinata is a low-growing, clumping, globular succulent with short, globose to columnar stem, up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall for the most common form, and the other form is with few stems and and up to 40 inches (1 m) tall. Stems are 7 or 8 (occasionally up to 10) angled with numerous branches from the base. The leaves are linear-lanceolate, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long and the spines are white to purple (depending on the season) and up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) long. Flowers are dark red-purple, in the male plant up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and in the female plant up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter, followed by 3-angled capsule, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.

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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 they cannot tolerant 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia


Native to South Africa (Natal) and Lesotho.


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