Of all the dwarf succulent South African Euphorbia this is undoubtedly one the most striking and popular.
Scientific name: Euphorbia pugniformis Boissier
Origin: South Africa, Western and Eastern Cape, over a wide coastal area from King Williams Town westward to Mossel Bay.
Habitat: Grows in sandy places.
Etymology: Latin "pugnus"= "fist" and Latin "-formis"= "-shaped"
Description: Euphorbia pugniformis is a dwarf spineless “medusaform” Euphorbia that in its normal form has two to three rows of lateral shoots around the deepen tip of a swollen succulent base. It is closely related to E. gorgonis and can be confused with E. woodii but it is smaller.
|Cultivation: This is a relatively fast growing species, It like a sunny position and does best in a mineral soil, but is tolerant of a wide range of soil types. Good drainage is essential. Water sparingly during the summer months and keep quite dry in winter. It can tolerate moderate shade, and a plant that has been growing in shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun as the plant will be severely scorched if moved too suddenly from shade into sun.
Propagation: Seeds cuttings.
Note: As with all other Euphorbias when a plant get damaged it exudes a thick white milky sap known as latex. The latex is a violent emetic and purgative and is used by natives for the purpose of curing indigestion and constipation. The sap is highly irritant, however. A case of death from drinking a concoction of the plant is on record. A yellow resinous substance in this plant called Euphorbin can cause terrible blistering of the skin.