Your support is critical to our success.
Accepted Scientific Name: Euphorbia procumbens Mill.
Gard. Dict., ed. 8. 12 (1768). [16 Apr 1768] (Basionym/Replaced Synonym of Euphorbia pugniformis) Mill.
Origin and Habitat: South Africa, Western and Eastern Cape, over a wide coastal area from King Williams Town westward to Mossel Bay.
Habitat: Grows in sandy places.
- Euphorbia pugniformis Boiss.
Euphorbia procumbens Mill.
Gard. Dict., ed. 8. 12 (1768). [16 Apr 1768] (Basionym/Replaced Synonym of Euphorbia pugniformis)
- Euphorbia procumbens Mill.
- Medusea procumbens (Mill.) Haw.
- Euphorbia pugniformis Boiss.
- Euphorbia pugniformis f. cristata (branch cristation) hort.
- Euphorbia pugniformis f. cristata (caudex cristation) hort.
ENGLISH: Jellyfish Head Euphorbia, Medusa's Head, Medusahoved
Description: Euphorbia pugniformis is a dwarf spineless “medusaform” Euphorbia that in its normal form has two to three rows of lateral shoots around the deepen tip of a swollen succulent base. It is closely related to Euphorbia gorgonis and can be confused with Euphorbia woodii but it is smaller.
Roots: Merging into stem.
Stem: The main stem (caudex), is partly buried in the ground arises from root forming a subglobose and slightly depressed body 5-8 cm thick, the central growing point is densely tuberculate. It is crowned with numerous radiating branches, that are relatively skinny, cylindrical and tapering toward the tips ± 8 mm Ø, 5-30 cm long, tessellately covered with tubercles up to 3 mm long.
Leaves: Each tubercle bears one lanceolate, deciduaous, green leaflet up to 4-8 mm long.
Flowers: Cyathia solitary yellowish-green, produced mostly around the central stem tip, peduncle up to 4 mm with minutely toothed greenish-yellow nectar glands.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Euphorbia procumbens group
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey “The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass” Cambridge University Press, 11/ago/2011
2) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons” Springer, 2002
3) Hermann Jacobsen “Abromeitiella to Euphorbia” Blandford Press, 1960
4) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” CRC Press, 01/giu/2000
5) Alain Campbell White, Robert Allen Dyer, Boyd L. Sloane “The succelent Euphorbisae (southern Africa)” Abbey garden press, 1941
6) Werner Rauh “Cultivation and Description of Selected Succulent Plants Other Than Cacti” Smithsonian Institution Press 1984
7) Gibbs Russell, G. E., W. G. Welman, E. Reitief, K. L. Immelman, G. Germishuizen, B. J. Pienaar, M. v. Wyk & A. Nicholas. 1987. “List of species of southern African plants.” Mem. Bot. Surv. S. Africa 2(1–2): 1–152(pt. 1), 1–270(pt. 2).
Cultivation and Propagation: Euphorbia pugniformis is a relatively slow growing species and will form a good size caudex. If you are new to succulents, this is a good species to try since it's easy to grow.
Exposure: It likes a sunny position, but 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.
Soil: It does best in a mineral soil, but is tolerant of a wide range of soil types. Good drainage is essential. In pots give the plant an airy growing medium which mainly consists of non organic material such us clay, pumice, lava grit, and only a little peat or leaf-mould.
Repotting: It like quite small pots, repott in very later winter, early spring.
Watering: Water sparingly from March to September. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. Keep almost completely dry in winter.
Plant Pests: Prone to mealy bugs and rarely scale.
Rot: Rot it is only a minor problem with Euphorbias if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Propagation: The plant can be reproduced by seeds or cuttings If you take a cutting from this plant, you will get a strange bunch of sideways 'fingers' that will not come true to the shape of the parent. In this case, wait for seed. If you remove an offset, remember to let it dry for some days, letting the wound heal (cuttings planted too soon easily rot before they can grow roots). Lay it on the soil and insert the stem end partially into the substrate. Try to keep the cutting somewhat upright so that the roots are able to grow downward. It is better to wash the cut to remove the latex.
Warning: As with all other Euphorbias when a plant get damaged it exudes a thick white milky sap known as latex. The latex is a violent emetic and purgative and is used by natives for the purpose of curing indigestion and constipation. The sap is highly irritant, however. A case of death from drinking a concoction of the plant is on record. A yellow resinous substance in this plant called Euphorbin can cause terrible blistering of the skin.
|Back to Euphorbia index|
|Back to Euphorbiaceae index|
|Back to Succulents Encyclopedia index|