Although some consider Euphorbia valida as
E. meloformis, E.
valida has more persistent peduncles, leading to a
bristly appearance, and the mature plants are much taller than E.
meloformis. It has round
banded stems with 8 to 12 ribs. The variegations on the
plant body are a little less striking than E. meloformis.
Occasionally there are offsets
from the base. It is very similar in look to
E. obesa, but with small
yellow flowers on long peduncles which dry and persist on the plant
after blooming. It needs male and female plants in order to set seed.
The male flower consists of one nude stamen only;
several such flowers are grouped in a
pseudanthium (Cyathium). They
develop asynchronously, with usually only one or just a few (ca. 3-5)
mature, pollen releasing flowers (stamina) in different stages of
maturity present at the same time. After releasing the pollen, they are
A female Cyathium of this group usually contains a single flower, which
consists of a
gynoecium of three
carpels with one ovule each,
and three styles that are joined at the base. The fruit is a dry
that "explodes" when it turns mature, catapulting the seeds that it
contains (usually 3) up to several meters away from the mother plant.
Subspecies or variety?
Recently G. Marx placed Euphorbia valida as a subspecies under
Euphorbia meloformis. These species are closely related, and for
an outsider it is very difficult to distinguish them. There are
some differences, though.
It would be even better to place them as a variety
instead of a subspecies, because at many places intermediate populations
can be found.
Like several other succulent Euphorbias of the E. meloformis/obesa/valida
group, E. valida is dioecious, which means that unisexual flowers
are found in unisexual inflorescences on either "male" or "female"
Cultivation: It likes a sunny position. It does best in a mineral
soil, and good drainage is essential. Water sparingly during the summer
months, and keep dry in winter. It is a slow-growing, long-lived plant
and, once established, it will be content in its position and with its
soil for years. 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. It is propagated from seed sown during spring or