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Products > Euphorbia leucodendron
 
Euphorbia leucodendron - Cat Tails Euphorbia
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Euphorbiaceae (Spurges)
Origin: Madagascar
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Chartreuse
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Euphorbia alluaudii, Tirucallia alluadii]
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Drought Tolerant: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Euphorbia leucodendron (Cat Tails Euphorbia) An interesting spineless succulent shrub that grows to 4 to 6 feet tall but can ultimately reach to 12 feet. It has narrow pale green cylindrical and jointed stems that rise erectly and then arch outwards to form a mass as wide as tall. The stems are tipped in summer with many 1/2 inch long green leaves and are dotted with brown marks where the leaves were previously attached. In spring and summer at branch tips also appear the very small yellow-green flower structures (cyathia) that hold the even smaller flowers and the developing fruit is red and somewhat heartshaped. Plant in full sun or light shade (more compact in sun) in a well drained soil and water infrequently if at all. Hardy to at least 25 F. This unusual plant looks a bit like horsetail (Equisetum sp.) and is one of the succulent euphorbias sometimes called "coraliform" or "coraliformes" types, with common names such as Stick Plant, Stick Cactus. It is somewhat similar to the Euphorbia tirucalli but with much smaller diameter stems and is less branching, though it is sometimes commonly called Pencil Tree and Milk Bush, the same names as used for E. tirucalli and it is also sometimes called the Yellow-leaf Bush Euphorbia. As with many plants in the Euphorbia family, use extra care when handling this plant, especially if the stems are cut or broken as the white milky sap can cause skin irritation or damage to eyes upon contact and all plant parts are poisonous if eaten. This plant is native to central and southern Madagascar where it grows in rocky scrublands. Plants in the drier central areas are shrubs but with more moisture to the south, can be small trees to 12 feet tall. The specific epithet comes from Greek words 'leuco' meaning "white" and 'dendron' meaning "tree" in reference to the plant's white sap. The plant was described as Euphorbia alluaudii in 1903 by the French botanist Emmanuel Drake del Castillo (18551904). Its likeness to another Madagascar plant, Alluaudia dumosa in the Didiereaceae, gave this plant the name of Euphorbia alluaudii Drake and though this name is listed as the current name on The Plant List (collaboration between the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and the Missouri Botanic Garden) most references still use the name Euphorbia leucodendron Drake for this plant.  This description is based on our research and the observations we have made of this plant as it grows in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We also appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Euphorbia leucodendron.
 
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