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African Milk Tree


Cactus & Succulent Garden

African Milk Tree

Euphorbia trigona

  • Common Name: African Milk Tree (other common names: Candelabra Cactus, Euphorbia, African Milk Bush, Friendship Cactus, High Chaparral)
  • Scientific Name: Euphorbia trigona
  • Family Name: Euphorbiaceae
  • Origin: Central Africa
  • Height: can get up to 12’ – 15’
  • Width: 4’- 6’
  • Growth: moderate
  • Zone: 10A - 11
  • Light Needs: Full sun to Partial/Dappled shade (requires at least a half a day of direct sun)
  • Salt Tolerance:  unknown
  • Soil/PH/Texture: well-draining potting soil with one part coarse perlite and three parts peat moss works well but it is not incredibly picky about its soil or pH, and will even tolerate poor soil, moderately acidic – slightly alkaline soils, (pH 5.6 – 7.8).
  • Soil Moisture: Mesic – during the growing season, water thoroughly when the soil surface feels dry, it does not like to be extremely wet or soggy. During the winter dormancy water only when the top inch of soil is completely dry.
  • Drought Tolerance: moderately drought and humidity tolerant
  • Pests/Diseases: Although there usually is no serious problems with pests or diseases, occasionally these plants may be attacked by mealy bugs, black stem or basal rot, scale, or red spider mites.
  • Growing Conditions: easy to grow, low maintenance
  • Characteristics: deciduous, leaves of this cactus on its rectangular stems and ridges are small and short lived, it is unlikely to flower bit if it does, they are small white or yellow flowers, this plant does have thorns though.
  • Propagation: by stem cuttings
  • Wildlife: may attract flies if it flowers
  • Facts: produces a milky sap called latex that is toxic and can range from a mild irritant to very poisonous.
  • Designer Considerations: use for a small tree specimen, ornamental, container plant for patio or deck, in a cactus or succulent garden bed and is great for a houseplant and xeriscaping.