22 responses to “Euphorbia obesa”

  1. Dianne Saichek

    Thank you, Lee, for writing such an engaging and ‘woke’ write up on the euphorbia obesa. Given we’re in the 6th great extinction, I so appreciate botanical gardens and their custodial mandate. So much to mourn; it’s heartening to read a celebration of a plant.

  2. Rosemarie Parker

    Wonderful write-up. I fell right into the cactus mindset upon seeing the photo, despite reading the genus name! Thank you.

  3. Wendy Cutler

    Are all botanists good writers? That was a very informative and entertaining read.
    As are these postings generally.

  4. Lee Foote

    Well thank you folks for the compliments and an enduring thanks to Daniel for keeping this site alive and active. We are all crazy for green-up at our latitude (55 degrees N) so we like to share the love of glass houses.


  5. Linda

    Looks like a mini pin cushion with the pins all lined up evenly in rows or perhaps a Moroccan foot rest.

  6. Marilyn Brown

    I thought it looked as if it belonged in the parlor, at the foot of a comfortable armchair. I’d agree with Linda about the Moroccan footrest, except I’m pretty sure it’s covered in a Black-Watch pattern.

  7. Nadia

    so amazing!

  8. Peggy Menzie

    I love Euphorbia’s, I have many in full bloom! The Euphorbia obesa is fabulous! Thank you so much for the information. Another reason to go visit South Africa!

  9. Michael Aman

    Do the stems of all euphorbias have eight chambers?

  10. Alan Clark

    I am amazed that Euphorbias all belong to the same genus, despite the huge variations in morphology. Many are columnar, many are leafy and not succulent.

  11. Meyer Mary

    That is just stunning! What a remarkable plant. Thank you for this post.

  12. Meg

    Great article!

  13. Valerie

    What a beautiful thing, with the exquisite surface patterning!

  14. Christian Feuillet

    Great article ! An other trick is the dispersion of seeds. The small fruits are ejecting the spherical seeds so strongly that on a perfectly smooth house floor the seeds will roll to the walls or pieces of furniture.

  15. Thor Henrich

    Euphorbias such as E. obesa can often be found in plant nurseries, flower shops, and even grocery stores. I have one in a small well-drained pot sitting on a window ledge facing west, for more than a dozen years. Bitter experience has taught me that E. obesa is very sensitive to overwatering, so I don’t water from September through April, then only gently start in May. Never allow water to stand in the saucer under the pot as the roots are very susceptible to rotting. Comparison with obese cacti is educational and a great example of parallel evolution of the vegetative morphology, but totally different (reproductive) flowering patterns and taxonomy.

  16. Cecelia

    So strange! Commend you… Daniel for keeping us informed. Happy Birthday!

  17. Danae Yurgel

    Great read! Thank you, especially for writing about the risk of loss of so many endemics.
    Go, botanic gardens, go!!

  18. Denis

    I need to get a new one. Mine died several years back. I had it planted with a vertical/cylindrical Euphorbia (which lives on) that was roughly proportional to make them look like a baseball and bat. Now if I can only find a species that looks like a baseball glove.

  19. Alan Butler

    Sometimes known as the Tartan plant! A lot of research has been done recently on Euphorbiaceae including DNA tests with the result that the enormous genus still holds together and has swallowed a few satellite genera. The research was done by the PBI in conjunction with the University of Michigan and should be available on line.

  20. Viola

    Are those ‘flowers’ atop Euphorbia obesa not unlike those among the red bracts of Euphorbia pulcherrima, our poinsettia? Certainly the two plants as a whole bare little similarity. Fascinating plant you have described, Daniel. Thank you.

  21. Wendy

    I saw the photo and laughed out loud. Obese indeed. But so much more… a Scottish sea urchin? Plants are endlessly entertaining!

  22. Patrick Collins

    Is that a male plant?

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