Euphorbia ledienii (dark type)

Euphorbia ledienii (dark type)

Euphorbia ledienii (dark type)

Dark type with bluish-green stems. E. ledienii is a succulent shrub freely branching from the base to form a very cactus-like plant up to 2 m high.
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Dark type with bluish-green stems. E. ledienii  is a succulent shrub freely branching from the base to form a very cactus-like plant up to 2 m high.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Scientific name:  Euphorbia ledienii  A.Berger
In: Sukk. Euphorb., 80, 1907.  forma cristata

Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar) The standard E. echinus is endemic to Eastern Cape, Uitenhage and neighbouring districts, South Africa

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common Names include:  "Crested Euphorbia".


  • Euphorbia ledienii N.E. Brown
    In: Bot. Mag., t. 8275. 1909

Euphorbia ledienii (pale form)

Description: E. ledienii is a succulent shrub freely branching from the base to form a very cactus-like plant up to 2 m high.
Stems: Branches erect, glabrous, pale yellowish-green, grey green to dark bluish green (depending on clones), up to 5,5 cm in diameter, moderately constricted at intervals into oblong irregular joints 7-18 cm long,
Ribs: (3-)4 to 7 (mostly 4 or 5 ), sharply angled with situated teeth approx 15-18 mm apart.
Stipular spines: 6- 20 mm long in pairs; elongated, rudimentary, separate or joined.
Leaves: Small rudimentary , soon leafless.
Inflorescences: Cymes, simple, formed by three cyathia in an horizontal line, peduncles up to 3 mm.
Cyathia: Up to 5 mm wide Yellow, nectar glands oblong, touching.
Fruit: slightly lobed, up to 7 mm in diameter, peduncle up to 6 m long.

E. ledienii cristata is a very beautiful strong green crested plant with intricately undulating fan-shaped branches.

The E. Ledienii var. dragei differs from the type for 3-5 flowered cymes and smaller sized cyathia (up to 4 mm in diameter) Origin Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth district, South Africa

E. lidienii pale form (Standard)

E. lidienii dark form.

Culture: Need bright light to partial shade for best appearance. It responds well to warmth, with its active growth period in the late spring and summer months. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch during active growing season (more than once a week during hot weather) In the winter months, waterigs should be suspended or restricted to once over the winter. The most common failure in growing this plant is over watering, especially during the winter months. Likes porous sub-acidic substrata (pH 6) with adequate drainage. Very tender, protect from frost.

Reproduction: It is propagated by cuttings. It is recommend taking Euphorbia cuttings in Spring/Summer when the plant is growing so that they have a better chance of success. They key is heat & good air circulation. These cuttings should be dipped in Hormone powder (but it is not needed) and left for a period of 3-4 weeks to callous. Then pot the cutting and don't water ( or kept slightly moist) until rooted. These will root just fine, if you can put the pot outside in the summer, or put pot on a heating pad.

Warning: 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 particularly dangerous for the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. So pay extreme attention not to get any in your eyes or mouth.  Cultivated plants must be handled carefully. Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk (1962) described this plant as being virulently poisonous.