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Products > Euphorbia stenoclada
 
Euphorbia stenoclada - Silver Thicket
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Euphorbiaceae (Spurges)
Origin: Madagascar
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Euphorbia stenoclada (Silver Thicket) - An upright much branched large leafless succulent shrub or small tree usually seen around 6 feet tall but capable of growing to 12 feet tall or more by 4 to 6 feet wide. It has new growth that is fairly pliable but hardening into rigid flattened blue-gray to silver stems with spines at the tips. With age it can develop into a gnarled trunk small tree with a rounded head of spiny growth. The flowers, which technically are called a cyathium (plural cyathia) include a bracts, nectar glands, groups of reduced male flowers and a reduced female flower, appearing in spring are small and dark reddish purple and held at branch tips followed by small rounded green lightly hairy fruit. Plant in full sun or light shade in a well-drained soil - foliage stays greener when grow in shade but in full sun has a nice silver color. Irrigate occasionally to infrequently spring and summer. Reliably cold hardy to around 30F and tolerant of short duration freezes a couple degrees below this, with damage noted in the mid 20s F. Euphorbia stenoclada is described by some as being a curious and attractive plant but by others as dangerous or forbidding because of its sharp spines and we agree to both of these observations, so we caution those who want to plant this to consider its placement carefully in the garden by keeping it away from paths and areas where people and pets might brush up to it, but also noting that it makes an excellent and impenetrable barrier, much like the unrelated Anchor Plant, Colletia paradoxa from Chile. As with others of the genus, this plant oozes a milky sap when damaged or cut and contact with this sap may cause dermatitis to the skin of some and certainly should not be allowed to get in contact with the eyes as it can cause temporary blindness and one should seek medical treatment immediately should this happen. Euphorbia stenoclada is endemic to Madagascar where it is common throughout its range from the south-central plateau region to coastal forests. The name for the genus is derived from Euphorbus, the Greek physician of King Juba II of Numidia and later of Mauritania. In 12 B.C. King Juba named a cactus-like plant he found in the Atlas Mountains after his physician and later Carl Linnaeus assigned the name Euphorbia to the entire genus. The specific epithet is from the Greek words 'stenos' meaning "narrow" or "slender" and 'klados' meaning "branch" for the short spine tipped branches.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Euphorbia stenoclada.
 
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