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Products > Euphorbia lambii
Euphorbia lambii - Tree Euphorbia
Image of Euphorbia lambii
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Euphorbiaceae (Spurges)
Origin: Canary Islands (Atlantic Ocean)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow Green
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [E. bourgaeana, E. lambiorum]
Height: 6-10 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Euphorbia lambii (Tree Euphorbia) - This succulent tree looks like something that came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book! Growing 6 to 10 feet tall and as wide, it has a thick gray colored main trunk and large wide spreading leafless lower stems from which erect thick branches arise capped with a pompom cluster of 6 inch long yellowish-green to blue green leaves. In spring it displays 6 inch wide bunches of showy circular greenish-yellow cupped bracts that are held above the foliage and hold the small green flowers. Plant in a well-draining soil in full sun to even pretty deep shade (where foliage is a bit darker and stems more lanky) and water little if at all to occasionally - with abundant water expect much faster growth and a larger plant. Protect from hard frost as it is hardy only down to about 25 to 30 degrees. Our large plant in the garden withstood the Christmas 1990 freeze where temperatures dropped to 18 F but with considerable damage. In the January 2007 freeze plants in the garden weathered 3 nights down to 25 degrees without damage. Individual plants may only live for about 10 to 15 years but will often set abundant seed which germinates to produce new plants in the garden and fortunately are easy to dig to relocate or compost but avoid the white sap which can be irritating to eyes and skin. This plant sometimes has stems that spontaneously crest (also called fasciation) with the fan of leaves spreading out along a broadly horizontal stem tip. Euphorbia lambii comes from the island of Gomera in the Canary Islands where it grows in the forest margins of the northwest and central areas of the island from 2,000 to 2,600 feet in elevation and is considered rare in habitat. 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 honoring British nurseryman Edgar Lamb (1905-1980) was given to this plant in 1960 by the Swedish born Canary Island botanist Eric Sventenius. More recent phylogenetic work has determined that this name should be synonymous with a smaller growing plant also found on the island of Gomera, Euphorbia bourgaeana, and the name Euphorbia lambiorum is also sometimes used. We have continually grown this plant at the nursery since 1994 and continue to call it Euphorbia lambii until such time as Euphorbia bourgaeana becomes more commonly used. 

This information about Euphorbia lambii displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.