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Accepted Scientific Name: Euphorbia silenifolia Sweet
Hort. Brit. [Sweet], ed. 2. 454. 1830 Sweet
Origin and Habitat: It is endemic to few sites in the Northern Cape, Griqualand West and Vredenfort, South Africa.
Habitat: Grows in grass land among sandstone rocks, in gravelly soil, often in pockets on rocks or or on pans. Rainfall/year: 300-500 mm in summer. This species look surprisingly like mesembs of the genus Hereroa that grow mixed together the same area but with yellow flowers in late summer.
Euphorbia silenifolia Sweet
Hort. Brit. [Sweet], ed. 2. 454. 1830
- Euphorbia silenifolia Sweet
- Euphorbia elliptica Thunb.
- Tithymalus ellipticus (Thunb.) Klotzsch & Garcke
- Euphorbia mira L.C.Leach
- Euphorbia silenifolia f. attenuata (Klotzsch & Garcke)
- Tithymalus attenuatus Klotzsch & Garcke
- Euphorbia silenifolia f. bergii (Klotzsch & Garcke)
- Tithymalus bergii Klotzsch & Garcke
- Euphorbia silenifolia f. longipetiolata (Klotzsch & Garcke)
- Tithymalus longipetiolatus Klotzsch & Garcke
Description: It is a compact highly branched succulent with a thickened storage root stock. It will form a dense mat with age.
Leaves: Fleshy organized in 2-6 pairs in each branch, smooth, light grey to bluish, trigonus narrowing toward the apiculate apex, keel ± oblique. Every year a few new leaves grow from the central stem.
Roots: Well developed, thickened tap-root.
Flowers: Daisy-like, organized in groups (cymes) of 1 to 3, but usually solitary, 20-30 mm in diameter, petals pure white to dark-pink with a white base, 1(-3) bracteolate. Filamentous staminodes white surrounding the stamens in a central cone. Stamens filament white, anthers yellow.
Blooming season: The long lasing flowers appears in spring.
Fruits: Dark-brown capsules, usually singles, bracteolates, base semi-globular with convex sides. Persisting for many year on the plants.
Seeds: 0.9-1 mm long, 0.6-08 mm wide.
Notes: Ebracteola has a gorgeous, thick root system and when it is potted up, the plant can be progressively raised over the ground so that some of the roots can be seen and is especially cultivated for their looks. Architecturally it is a real stunner. When the "caudex" shape of the raised roots is adequately in evidence this plant is incomparable. They also tend to grow more "heads" when they are raised.
Cultivation and Propagation: It is easy to grow and rewarding plants than can be grown in pots or in the rock-garden.. These plants grow on summer rain areas and were heading for winter dormancy. They can be watered year-round, water regularly from spring to Autumn but reduce watering frequency in winter, growth period is early Spring to late Summer, but is a very adaptable species that can grows opportunistically whenever the water availability and growing condition are favourable. Keep them cool, and half-shaded in summer, need full sun or light shade on the other seasons. Potted Ebracteola look best in a heavy soil and the same is true for plants in a rockery. Requires good drainage. Frost Tolerance: quite frost hardy and grows best where there are cold winters (it is reported to be hardy to at least -10° C if very dry).
Propagation: Seeds, cuttings.
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