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Euphorbia mauritanica (Pencil Milkbush)

Pencil Milkbush, Jackal's Food, Melkbos, Yellow Milk Bush

Euphorbia mauritanica, Pencil Milkbush, Jackal's Food, Melkbos, Yellow Milk Bush, succulent, drought tolerant plant, yellow flowers
Euphorbia characias 'Tasmanian Tiger', Spurge 'Tasmanian Tiger', 'Tasmanian Tiger' Spurge, Variegated Spurge, Variegated Euphorbia

Euphorbia mauritanica (Pencil Milkbush) is an evergreen, densely branched shrub with pencil-thin, cylindrical and smooth, lime-green branches. Small, silver-gray leaves show off on young stems. In winter, clusters of bright yellow flowers appear at the tip of the stems. Quite handsome in flower, it develops pale green leaves terminally. When the plant is injured, it exudes milky sap at the cut.

  • Typically grows up to 2-3 ft. tall and wide (60-90 cm).
  • This remarkable plant is resilient to most pests and diseases, is deer or rabbit resistant and is easy to care for. It requires a little pampering to become established, but once it is, it is self-sufficient.
  • Performs best in full sun or light shade, in well-drained soils. Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well. It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water deeply, but don’t let this plant sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot. Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.
  • Perfect addition to beds, borders, Mediterranean Gardens.
  • Native to South Africa.
  • All parts of the plant are highly toxic if ingested. The milky sap may cause irritation to skin and eyes. Be very careful when handling this plant as the stems break easily and the milky sap can burn the skin. Use gloves and protective googles.

Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Euphorbiaceae
Genus Euphorbia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden
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Euphorbia (Spurge)
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Euphorbia obesa (Baseball Plant)
Euphorbia resinifera (Resin Spurge)
Euphorbia mammillaris (Corncob Cactus)
Euphorbia xanti (Baja Spurge)
Euphorbia ceratocarpa (Sicily Spurge)
Euphorbia corollata (Flowering Spurge)

Recommended Companion Plants

Aeonium haworthii ‘Kiwi’
Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’
Aloe maculata (Soap Aloe)
Sedum nussbaumerianum (Stonecrop)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

A Sparkling Mediterranean Garden with Agave, Aloe and Euphorbia
Native Plant Alternatives to Euphorbia cyparissias (Cypress Spurge)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Euphorbiaceae
Genus Euphorbia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Euphorbia (Spurge)
Guides with
Euphorbia (Spurge)
Not sure which Euphorbia (Spurge) to pick?
Compare Now

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