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Euphorbia tirucalli – Firestick Plants, Pencil Tree


Scientific Name

Euphorbia tirucalli L.

Common Names

Firestick Plants, Sticks on Fire, African Milk Bush, Finger Tree, Indian Tree Spurge, Milk Bush, Milk Hedge, Naked Lady, Pencil Tree, Pencil Euphorbia, Pencil Cactus, Petroleum Plant, Rubber Euphorbia, Rubber Hedge Euphorbia


Arthrothamnus bergii, Arthrothamnus ecklonii, Arthrothamnus tirucalli, Euphorbia geayi, Euphorbia laro, Euphorbia media, Euphorbia media var. bagshawei, Euphorbia rhipsaloides, Euphorbia scoparia, Euphorbia suareziana, Euphorbia tirucalli var. rhipsaloides, Euphorbia viminalis, Tirucalia indica, Tirucalia tirucalli

Scientific Classification

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


Euphorbia tirucalli is a succulent, spineless, hardy green shrub, up to 33 feet (10 m) tall. The branches are cylindrical, smooth and glabrous-green, up to 0.31 inch (8 mm) in diameter, forming brush-like masses. The leaves are small and slender, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and up to 0.16 inch (4 mm) wide. The flowers are yellow, inconspicuous, and carried in clusters at the apex of the short branches or in the angles of branches. Fruits are tripartite capsules, up to 0.47 inch ( 12 mm) in diameter.

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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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.


Native to Africa.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Rosea’


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