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Euphorbia decidua


Euphorbia decidua P.R.O.Bally & L.C.Leach

Family Name: Euphorbiaceae

This succulent has an attractive woody base known as a caudex.


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Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Succulent Plant, Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Compact


Native Distribution Southern Tanzania to Zambia, Northwestern Mozambique
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Desert / Semi-Desert)
Preferred Climate Zone Desert / Arid
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)
CITES Protection True (Appendix II)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Succulent up to 0.5 m tall.
Foliage Small, lance-shaped leaves line the stems (0.3 cm long).
Stems The round, woody base of the plant is part of the stem and known as a caudex (28 cm tall, 8 cm wide). Green, narrow stems emerge in a clump from the top of this caudex (20 cm long, 0.6 cm wide). They are densely armed with short spines.
Flowers Light green flowers are cup-shaped and red in the centre.
Cultivation It is important to plant this species in well-drained soil, as it is prone to root rot in wet soil. Allow the soil to dry about 8-10 cm from the surface before watering it thoroughly and keep in mind that it does not grow well under prolonged drought. Fertilise potted plants once a month at half-strength.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Form
Landscape Uses Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Rockery / Desert Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Irritant - Sap, Spines/Thorns - Stem/Branch

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water
Propagation Method Stem Cutting (Herbaceous)


Foliage Retention Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Modification Spine (axillary)
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Lanceolate)
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Green - Light Green, Red
Individual Flower Shape Bowl-shaped

Image Repository



Master ID 34416
Species ID 8829
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 25 March 2024.