Euphorbia stellata Willd.
Euphorbia stellata is a small geophytic succulent, one of the species that belong to the group known as Medusoid Euphorbias. The short, conical to truncate stem merges with the thick, turnip-shaped root forming a woody caudex up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. The branches are tufted, prostrate, and radiating on the top of the rootstock at ground level, 2-ribbed and dark green with feathery, whitish marking. They are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) wide. The margins are winged with sinuate teeth about 0.2 inches (6 mm) apart. The flowers are greenish-yellow.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Euphorbias are very easy to care for. These plants require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. 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 tolerate 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.
These succulents can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). They are usually propagated by cuttings. This can be tricky because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. They tend to grow problem-free, but there are a few pests and diseases to be alert for.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.
Euphorbia stellata is native to South Africa (Eastern Cape).
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