Euphorbia schoenlandii Pax
Compass Barrelwort, Compass Milkbarrel, Compass Plant
This species is native to South Africa, where it occurs in sandveld areas with deep red aeolian sands, on lower loamy slopes from Kotzesrus to Strandfontein.
Euphorbia schoenlandii is a monoecious succulent with a cylindrical, usually solitary stem covered with conical, spirally arranged tubercles bearing slender sterile shoots in axils persisting as woody spines. The stem grows up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, always slightly pointing northwards hence the common names. Leaves are linear–lanceolate, soon deciduous, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and up to 0.15 inches (0.4 cm) wide. Cyathia with 4 or 5 green glands appear around the stem apex, each on a short, non-persistent peduncle that arises in the axil of the tubercle and between sterile short shoot and stem. Fruits are glabrous capsules on short, erect pedicel.
The specific epithet "schoenlandii (skoen-LAND-ee-eye)" honors the German botanist Seimar Schönland (1860-1940), who is the founder of the Department of Botany at Rhodes University and the second largest herbarium in South Africa.
How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia schoenlandii
Light: This succulent is a sun lover. Place your indoor E. schoenlandii in a sunny window. From spring to fall, you may place the pot on the balcony or in the garden. Increase sun exposure gradually to prevent sunburn.
Soil: E. schoenlandii requires well-drained soil. Use a commercial mixture formulated for succulents, or make your own potting mix.
Hardiness: High summer temperatures are not a problem, but low winter temperatures can damage or kill your plant. E. schoenlandii can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.
Watering: From spring to fall, water when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil feels dry. Reduce watering in winter. Give it just enough water to prevent wilting. The best time of the day to water your E. schoenlandii in the warm season is the evening.
Fertilizing: Plants in a pot need regular feeding. Apply a balanced fertilizer in a 10-10-10 NPK formulation, diluted to 1/4 strength once a week during the growing season.
Repotting: E. schoenlandii will benefit from repotting, but it does not need to be repotted every year. When your plant is outgrowing its pot, it is time to repot it in a larger pot and give it a fresh potting mix. The repotting is best done in early spring, at the beginning of the growing season. Wear gloves, protective clothing, and appropriate eye protection when repotting this succulent.
Propagation: The easiest and fastest method of propagation for this plant is by using cuttings. It can also be grown from seeds, but it can be difficult to germinate. The best time to take cuttings is in spring or summer. Sow the seeds in spring.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.
Toxicity of Euphorbia schoenlandii
E. schoenlandii produces a white milky sap that is toxic and can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Therefore, it is best to keep your plant away from children and pets.
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