Euphorbia lenewtonii


No synonyms are recorded for this species name.


Euphorbia lenewtonii is native to Tanzania, in particular from the Kondoa District. It grows on soil accumulations in rock crevices, at an elevation of around 1225 meters above the sea level.
It is very rare and these colonies in Tanzania are the only ones known to date.


Euphorbia lenewtonii is a shrub formed by a myriad of succulent stems, very similar to cacti though with the strangest shape. This resemblance with cacti species is typical of Euphorbias, though they are totally unrelated from a phylogenetic point of view. This is an example of what’s called, in Ecology, “convergent evolution”: genera or even families of plants that develop similar morphological adaptations to cope with similar environmental condition, which in this case are rocky, arid habitats. However, though they share the presence of the spines and the green, succulent stems, the stem shape is different. In Euphorbia lenewtonii, in fact, stems are lumpy and irregular, though slender and not so tall: around 8 centimeters tall and 1 in witdh. Spines are sharp, 5 to 8 centimeters long, and they grow in dichotomous pairs, growing in two opposite directions. Flowers are the typical ones of Euphorbias: the cyathia. A cyathium (cyathia in the plural form) is one of the specialised false flowers forming the inflorescence of plants in the genus Euphorbia. In Euphorbia lenewtonii, they are borne on solitary cymes, sessile (not equipped with a peduncle), 1-forked, purplish red at their top and greenish at their base. Cyathia, instead, are yellow, 3 millimeters long, with oblong nectar glands, yellow as well.


Growing Euphorbia lewnewtonii is super-easy! Here are some tips to keep it happy:

Give it plenty of bright light, but avoid direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day. It loves filtered or indirect light. It’s pretty tolerant of temperatures, but keep it above 5-8ºC. It’s a subtropical plant and can handle a bit of cold, but don’t let it freeze. Water it regularly in spring and summer, about once a week, but always make sure the soil is completely dry before watering again. In the fall and winter, give it a break from watering as it goes dormant. Use a well-drained soil mix for succulents. It likes a mineral-rich substrate with materials like clay, pumice, or lava grit. Fertilize once a year in the summer with a product high in Phosphorus and Potassium, and low in Nitrogen. Dilute the product according to the package instructions. Repot it every year in the spring if it outgrows its pot. It’s a slow-growing species, so it won’t need repotting every year. Choose a pot that’s just slightly larger than the plant’s diameter. And be sure to wear gloves when handling the plant to protect yourself from the latex sap.


Propagating Euphorbia lewnewtonii is pretty easy and can be done through both seeds and cuttings. If you’re going the cutting route, the best time to do it is in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. To take a cutting, snip off a healthy stem with a sharp pair of scissors or pruners, making sure to wear gloves to protect yourself from the sap. Next, let the cutting dry out for a couple of days before planting it in a well-draining soil mix. To increase the chances of success, you can also dip the cutting in rooting hormone before planting. As for seeds, they can be sown in the spring or summer, but keep in mind that it might be harder to obtain them and get them to germinate. But either way, with a little patience and TLC, you’ll have a whole new batch of Euphorbia lewnewtonii to add to your collection.


Euphorbia lenewtonii, also known as Newton’s spurge, is a species of flowering plant in the family Euphorbiaceae. The name “Euphorbia” was given after Euphorbio, who discovered the species: he was the doctor of Giuba, king of the ancient Numidia and Mauritania. The species name, “lenewtonii” comes from Dr. Leonard E. Newton, who was an English botanist and worked at Kumasi University, in Ghana. Some authors, however, think that the species was named after the famous physicist Sir Isaac Newton, who is said to have grown the plant in his garden. It is commonly used as an ornamental plant in rock gardens, xeriscapes, and as a groundcover.

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