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Euphorbia obesa forma cristata

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Euphorbia obesa forma cristata.
 

Description:  The well known standard form of E. obesa is a single-stemmed globular or shortly  cylindrica plant that  sometimes 'branch' or sucker, creating very odd looking clusters of spheres. It can grow to 20 cm in height with a diameter of 9 cm. The rare crested form is a very different fascinating plant.
 


Photo
Photo & copyright by Irwin Lightstone http://www.radiantimagesphotography.net

This is a fascinating and rare plant
with strong dark green fan-shaped crested branches forming a snaky ridge or crowded cluster.


Remarks:
The cause of cresting is not fully explained, biologists disagree as to why some plant grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of a lightning strike or freeze damage, but whatever the stimulus, the growth point of the stem has switched from a geometric point, to a line, which folds and undulates as the crest expands. Crested Euphorbia  are quite rare, cresting occurs naturally and can be encountered in many other  species.

 

Cultivation: Needs bright light to partial shade for best appearance. It responds well to warmth, with its active growth period in the late spring and summer months. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch during active growing season (more than once a week during hot weather) In the winter months, waterigs should be suspended or restricted to once over the winter. The most common failure in growing this plant is over watering, especially during the winter months. Likes porous soil with adequate drainage.

Propagation: It is usually propagated by cuttings or graft. This plant can also propagated by seeds (the seed from crested plants produce crested seedling with a relatively high frequency) The seedlings and cuttings grow without any difficulty  on their own roots. It is recommend taking Euphorbia cuttings in Spring/Summer when the plant is growing so that they have a better chance of success. They key is heat & good air circulation. These cuttings should be dipped in Hormone powder (but it is not needed) and left for a period of 3-4 weeks to callous. Then pot the cutting and don't water ( or kept slightly moist) until rooted. These will root just fine, if you can put the pot outside in the summer, or put pot on a heating pad.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Scientific name: Euphorbia obesa  Hook. f. forma cristata

Common Names include: Sea Urchin, Baseball, Vetmensie

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Origin: Euphorbia obesa is an endemic species to the Northern Cape region of South Africa. The crested forms are of garden origin (Nursery produced cultivars)

 

 


Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Euphorbia obesa.

 

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery EUPHORBIA

 



 

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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

Encyclopedia of Succulents