Euphorbia mitriformis

Synonyms:

No synonyms are recorded for this name.

Habitat:

E. mitriformis is native to Somalia, where it can be found only in a restricted area, in the Eastern part of Saanag region, in a zone called “Al Madu Range”. Its habitat are rocky, limestone slopes, at altitudes between 1200 and 1600 meters above sea level.

Description:

E. mitriformis is a perennial plant forming rounded, impressive compact shrubs shaped like mounds and formed bu numerous, densely crowded stems, elongated and with a diameter of 1,5 centimeter each. These shrubs can reach 1 meter in height and diameter. This is generally true however E. mitriformis is a rather variable species and can look different according to the distribution areas: some individuals form lower bushes, with more crowded, shorter, but numerous stems; and others have, instead, longer stems (uo to 1 meter tall) but less numerous. Usually, the smaller forms are more appreciated by succulent collectors and more sought after.
The single stems of E. mitriformis show a deeply five-angled shape, with five prominent lobes that make the stem seen from above look like a star! From each lobe, thick, short spines (2,5 centimeters long and no more than 1,5 centimers wide). Usually, from each lobe, 2 spines are formed. The colour of the thorns range from pale greyish-white to reddish depending on the season.
The flowers, instead, are red, grouped in a kind of inflorescence called cyme. “Cyme” is a botanical term used to define compeact inflorescences, shortly peduncolated and usually grouping very small flower: to make a long story short, it’s the inforescence of broccoli!
In E. mitriformis instead, cymes group red, small flowers (2-3 millimeters in diameter). These flowers end up in forming small fruits called capsules, borne on a 4-5 millimeters long petiole, and hosting small, 1 millimeter-sized seeds.

Cultivation:

E. mitriformis is a slow-growing plant. Apart from the patience required, however, it’s not so difficult to grow it. Here below are our cultivation tips:

E. mitriformis needs plenty of light to maintain its compact, lower form: shade usually make the stems more slender and elongated (they grow in height to seek for light).
E. mitriformis should be sheltered in Winter or either put indoors, as it’s frost-sensitive and doesn’t stand temperatures below 10ÂșC.
Water it regularly all year round except in Winter, to keep its roots from rotting.
Choose a well-draining substrate, with an abundant mineral part to allow the fibrous root to have an optimal drainage.
They do not need frequent fertilizations. It’s sufficient to dilute the fertilizer with watering once a year.
Repotting is rarely necessary as mature plants usually don’t exceed 30 centimeters in width and are well-adapted in the same soil and position for years.

Propagation:

The propagation of E. mitriformis can be carried out by grafting, cuttings or sowing. The easiest method is to remove an offset and use it as a cuttings. It’s sufficient to cut or remove the offset, leaving it to dry up for a week, and replanting it in fresh soil, after the wound is healed. Grafting is also used as a propagation method: grafted plants are usually stronger and grow faster. Whatever method you choose to use, remember to wash out the latex that comes off the wound, as it’s toxic and it undermines the success of the cutting/graft.

Curiosity:

Cultivated plants must be handled carefully. All Euphorbias, in fact, contain a poisonous latex that makes them, for example, dangerous for pets and very young children. Many of them are used in the pharmaceutical field.

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