Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Euphorbia Lactea

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Candelabra Plant, Elkhorn
Origin: India

Euphorbia lactea is a cactus-like plant with 3 or 4 angled branches that are deeply scalloped with black spines. It is used medicinally in India as a hot jam to treat rheumatism. All plant parts are considered poisonous, especially the white, milky sap. It is irritating to the skin, eyes and mouth. Euphorbia lactea need full sun to partial shade with warm temperatures. We use a soil mix consisting of equal part of loam and sand. The plant should be allowed to dry thoroughly between waterings. In the winter months, water should be restricted to once over the winter. The most common failure in growing this plant is over-watering, especially during the winter months. Euphorbia lactea "Cristata" is an intricately monstrous form with fan-shaped crested branches forming a snaky ridge or crowded cluster. Crest form often needs in grafting.

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