Euphorbia horrida hybrid (mixed forms)

Euphorbia horrida hybrid (mixed forms)

Euphorbia horrida hybrid (mixed forms)

Delightful plants of variable shape and colour resembling cacti. These plants will reward the grower with their ease of cultivation and beauty.
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Delightful plants of variable shape and colour resembling cacti. These plants will reward the grower with their ease of cultivation and beauty.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Scientific name:  Euphorbia horrida hybrid

Origin Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)

Common English Names include: African Milk Barrel

Euphorbia horrida hybrid
A delightful plant with green stems and red spines resembling a cactus.
Due to it hybrid origin this plant is very variable and many different forms are now in cultivation

Description: The hybrids of  E. horrida  are very common in the trade and in the collections. This hybrids involves several different species (often resulted from  accidental crosses) and are widely propagated for their quality. They are a very strong and easy to grow spiny succulent  that looks a lot like an American cactus and will readily form large clumps. They is quite variable due to their hybrid origin and have many varieties and forms. Many of the plants sold as E. horrida are actuality hybrids. It is however very difficult to identify the species involved in this crosses and is hard to tell apart the exact ancestors only by body characteristics.
Stem: Erect, cylindrical 3 to 150 mm thick, up to 75 cm tall.
Ribs: 6 to 20, usually wing-like, prominent.
Spines: Very variable in form, size and hardiness, usually ark purple
(quickly weathering to grey) 5-40 mm long, they are actually the dried remnants of its flower stalks and are very rigid.
Flower: Very small variable from yellowish-green to dark purple  blooms in spring and summer.

A small stemmed cultivar with bright red spines.

A grey stemmed hybrid.

Cultivation: It is a pretty easy plant, it grow well in a very draining mineral potting substrate but it isn't picky about soil, the area where this plant is native receives rains in both winter and summer, so it can be watered moderately all year around (except in the coldest month of the winter as it rot easily especially if over wet ) During the summer, they enjoy average feeding and watering. Mature healthy plants are tough and can also be grown out of where frost is not too severe , it can tolerate temperatures down -4°C (-10° C if the roots are kept dry). It like Light shade to full sun, but different clones vary in their tolerance of full sunshine. The general rule is that the smaller and rounder the variety, the less it can tolerate full sunshine.

A mall blue/green form

A huge cactus like type

A red blooming specimen.

close up to the flowers.

Propagation: It is propagated from seed sown during spring or summer. Germination occurs within 3 weeks but it can be reproduced by cuttings (The larger forms tend to branch enthusiastically and offsets are readily available) if you remove an offset, remember to let it dry for a week or so, letting the wound heal (cutting planted to soon easily rot before they can grow roots). It is better to wash the cut to remove the latex.

As with all other Euphorbias when a plant get damaged it exudes a thick white milky sap known as latex. This latex is poisonous and may irritate skin, and pay extreme attention not to get any in your eyes or mouth.
Cultivated plants must be handled carefully.