Euphorbia unispina Scientific Name
Euphorbia unispina N.E.Br.
Euphorbia unispina is a spiny, succulent shrub with a stout, sparsely-branched stem that can be up to 13.1 feet (4 m) tall. It looks rather like a cactus. The branches can be up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, usually with a few leaves at their tips. The whole plant is a silvery grey, it is covered with shallow tubercles and horny spine shields up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) in diameter with a single spine. It flowers at the end of the dry season, before new leaves are formed. Flowers are yellow-green to maroon, 5-lobed, up to 0.2 inch (5 mm) in diameter, with a shortly funnel-shaped involucre. Each cyathium conaining 1 female flower surrounded by many male flowers.
How to Grow and Care
Euphorbias are very easy to care for. They require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. In fact, more die from too much care and watering than from neglect. Euphorbias need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerant wet soil. Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well. It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water whenever the soil is dry several inches below the surface. Water deeply, but don’t let them sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot. Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.
Euphorbia can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). It is usually propagated by cuttings. This can be tricky, because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. They tend to grow problem free, but there are a few pests and diseases to be alert for…