Plant of the Week: Euphorbia lactea
Candelabra Plant

Euphorbia lactea

Euphorbia lactea or Candelabra plant, a native of India, is a cactus-like plant with 3- or 4-angled branches that are deeply scalloped with black spines. It is used medicinally in India as a hot jam to treat rheumatism. All plant parts are considered poisonous, especially the white, milky sap. It is irritating to the skin, eyes and mouth.

Blooming Time: It is not known to flower in captivity.

Culture: Euphorbia lactea need full sun to partial shade with warm temperatures. We use a soil mix consisting of equal part of loam and sand. The plant should be allowed to dry thoroughly between waterings. In the winter months, water should be restricted to once over the winter. The most common failure in growing this plant is over-watering, especially during the winter months.

Propagation: Euphorbia lactea are propagated by cuttings. Cuttings should be allowed to dry for a period of 3-4 weeks before potting.

Euphorbia lactea was featured as Plant of the Week February 9-15, 2001.

Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:


Search the plant archive or submit a search here:

Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.