Euphorbia tirucalli firesticks (2)

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Firesticks' Kraanlaboom (afrikaans)Rubber Hedge (english)umSululu (zulu)umHlonthlo (xhosa)

Taxonomy

Family EUPHORBIACEAE
Genus Euphorbia
Specie tirucalli 'Firesticks'
SA Plant Number 355
Basionym Euphorbia tirucalli 'Firesticks'

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Description

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Firesticks' is a  hardy, evergreen, tough, drought-resistant, succulent shrub or small tree with rarely-seen, tiny leaves that fall very early as this plant uses its green stems to photosynthesise.In this form the tips of the branches turn yellow, red and orange giving the impression that the tips of the plant are on fire.

Tiny, yellow flowers appear from September to December at the end of the new growth.These flowers attract masses of insects and butterflies.

The seed capsules that follow are prized by everything from ants to birds and even monkeys.The dense branches make ideal nesting sites for birds.Traditionally it is utilised as a living hedge to provide a nocturnal kraal for livestock.The plant is reputedly an effective banisher of moles. Although it is thornless, the dense, angular structure of the branchlets makes it fairly impenetrable, especially in older specimens. In some areas it will grow into a tree. As with most members of this genus, the sap is poisonous.

It grows well in full sun.

Size: 3 to 5m

Wildlife

Uses

Distribution

Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape

Attributes

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