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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: Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)
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: Medusa's Head Crested Form
Description: Euphorbia pugniformis is a medusaform Euphorbia, a thornless small succulent that in its normal form has two to three rows of lateral shoots around the deepen tip of a swollen succulent base.
Stem: The main stem (or swollen caudiciform rootstock) arises from root forming a subglobose body 5-8 cm thick crowned with relatively skinny, cylindrical and knobby lateral branches 5-10 cm long. Each tubercle at the tip of a branch bears one lanceolate, caducous, green leaflet up to 4-8 mm long.
Crested forms: This specie has two cristate forms; one with a cristate central shoot and normal cylindrical lateral shoots developed on it, and another with cristate lateral shoots only, without main shoot.
Lateral shoots type cristation: It is very common in cultivation and available for sale in garden centres, it forms a thin flattened bright-green crowded cluster and develops in time a large cushion-like twisted mass. Plant grown in full sun often take a bronze colouration especially in winter. Sometimes in the winter it looks really red colour.
Caudex cristation: The cristation of the central stem is quite rare and very different looking from the cristation involving a lateral shoot. It forms a snaky fan-shaped ridge with normal cylindrical lateral shoots developed on it.
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: This is a relatively fast growing species, It like a sunny position and does best in a mineral soil, but is tolerant of a wide range of soil types. Good drainage is essential. Water sparingly during the summer months and keep quite dry in winter. It 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.
Crested growth: Unlike 'monstrous' varieties of plants, where the variation from normal growth is due to genetic mutation, crested growth can occur on normal plants. Sometimes it's due to variances in light intensity, or damage, but generally the causes are unknown. A crested plant may have some areas growing normally, and a cresting plant that looks like a brain, may revert to normal growth for no apparent reason. If you have any of the crested part left you need to remove the normal growth and leave the crested part behind this will need to be done regularly.
Propagation: As the cristate forms do not flower, the method employed for its propagation is by cuttings.
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.
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