Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Euphorbia lignosa Marloth


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Euphorbia lignosa

Image 1
Milky sap
28 Sep 2006

Euphorbia lignosa

Image 2
Habit
07 May 2005

Euphorbia lignosa

Image 3
Habit (note reddish
colouration)
21 Sep 2008

Euphorbia lignosa

Image 4
Flower
27 Sep 2008

Euphorbia lignosa

Image 5
Fruit
27 Sep 2008

Euphorbia lignosa

Image 6
Habit
13 Dec 2008



Family: Euphorbiaceae
Full name: Euphorbia lignosa Marloth
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Gifmelkbos
English common name(s): Pencil milkbush, Woody euphorbia
Synonym(s): -
Status: Near-endemic
Description: A dwarf densely much-branched bush, forming a hemispheric cushion up to 3 ft. in diam., and 0.5–1 ft. high; main stem very stout, somewhat globose at the crown from which the branches arise, descending as a thick carrot-shaped root; main branches very numerous, repeatedly divided into short alternate spine-like or sharp-pointed branchlets, soft and succulent when young, becoming rigid, glabrous; leaves alternate, only present on very young branches, 1.5–5 lin. long, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate or sometimes obovate, acute, tapering near the base into a short petiole, longitudinally folded, recurved, very minutely puberulous; flowering branches with 1 terminal sessile involucre or with 1 sessile and 1 or 2 lateral involucres on peduncle-like branches 0.333– 0.5 in. long, forming a 2–3-flowered cyme, very minutely puberulous; bracts about 2–2.5 lin. long and 1.5–2 lin. broad, orbicular-obovate and apiculate, or broadly cuneate, subtruncate and minutely toothed, very minutely puberulous on both sides; involucre 3.5–5 lin. in diam., shallowly cup-shaped, very minutely puberulous, with 5 glands and 5 transverse rectangular lobes fringed with numerous subulate teeth along the truncate top; glands obliquely cup-like or funnel-shaped, with 4–9 entire or bifid channelled finger-like processes 0.25– 0.5 lin. long along the outer margin, glabrous in the cavity, very minutely puberulous outside; capsule sessile, erect, with its base embraced by the remains of the involucre, 2.5 lin. in diam., globose, very minutely puberulous; styles 1–1.25 lin. long, united nearly to the top, with 3 spreading bifid arms 0.167– 0.25 lin. long; seeds 1.25 lin. long, ovoid, acute at one end, somewhat 3-angled, smooth, glabrous. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Capensis)

Rigid, distinctly rounded, dense, spiny, succulent shrub, up to 0.5 x 1 m. Branches rigid, pale green, spine-like, tapering sharply to hard point. Inflorescence sessile, bisexual, solitary cyathium or in groups of 2-3. Glands bright yellow-green, cupped, with fringed margin. Flowering winter. Capsule sessile, about 5 mm in diameter, globose, finely velvety, often bright red until mature. This species is often found in rocky habitats such as foothills, where it grows between and over rocks. The striking, hemispherical, rounded, hedgehog-like appearance of this species is unmistakeable, and it would make an attractive subject for rockeries with succulents. It is found in the rocky eastern parts of the area covered by this guide and is common from Seeheirn to Aus, while also thought to occur in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. (from Wildflowers of the southern Namib by Coleen Mannheimer)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Content last updated: 01 Jun 2020


Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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