26 May 2013

Fowl's foot- Decary's Spurge

Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh)
decaryi (de-KAR-yee)

 spreads almost horizontally
on the ground by means of rhizomes. 

Fowl's foot 
Wrinkled Leaf Spurge 
Decary's Spurge

horizontal branches can be removed
 to expose the trunk

From southeast Madagascar, Euphorbia decaryi is a mat-forming stem succulent that spreads almost horizontally on the ground by means of rhizomes. This type of Euphorbia has many branches that tend to form a thick canopy. Some of horizontal branches can be removed to expose the trunk. Euphorbia decaryi is a small succulent with a shrub-like development. Simple zigzag edged leaves form apical rosettes on the stems and suggest a flattened palm tree. The stems sprawl and spread via underground stolons.

Beige, bell-shaped false flowers
 (cyathia) form in spring.

They are easy to cultivate Even in winter its soil should never completely dry out. Though it tolerates a dry over-wintering, in spring it needs moisture when new roots form. These plants prefer bright light, and do not take a prime growing space. They can grow in pots or in the ground in areas with mild climate, and they can be grown indoors. Euphorbia decaryi can survive outdoors when protected from light frost and freezing temperatures.

irregular stems bearing slender wavy edged leaves

Use very well draining loose soil and plant in a wide flat pot. Wait about two weeks after re-potting to let all wounds heal then water it with warm water. Let the soil dry out between watering, very little in water when the plant is dormant. Both the stems and leaves can take on a purple color if exposed to midday sun. They don't grow as well, but they can tolerate the intense light with enough water. Give them morning and late afternoon sun and shade in the middle of the day. Water regularly but do not over-water them.

tentacle-like stems thick, crinkly, leathery leaves

- a wide flat bowl
- a very loose soil
- semi-shade
- warmth
- water-wet/almost dry rhythm.

An odd but intriguing plant
Wrinkled Leaf Spurge
Fowls foot
Decary's Spurge

Warning: Like all Euphorbia handle with care, the latex/sap can cause skin rash or itching.

         Euphorbias: A Gardener's Guide            Euphorbia Journal volume 9


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