Euphorbia trigona Mill.
African Milk Tree, High Chaparral, Cathedral Cactus, Abyssinian Euphorbia
Euphorbia trigona is a succulent plant with an upright stem and numerous branches that also grow upward. The stem and branches are dark green with 3 to 4 ridges and V-shaped light green patterns. Spines are reddish-brown, arranged in pairs on the ridges, and up to 0.2 inches (5 mm) long. Leaves grow between the two spines on each ridge. This species has never been known to flower and is possibly a natural hybrid.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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. 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 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. Feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly if you grow them in containers or your soil is poor.
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 a few pests and diseases are to be alert for.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.
This species is native to West Africa.
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