Euphorbia pseudoglobosa f. crestata


No synonyms are recorded for this species name.


Euphorbia pseudoglobosa f. crestata is a nursery variety and of course doesn’t exist in nature. The original species, instead, Euphorbia pseudoglobosa, is native to South Africa: Cape Province and Eastern Cape. This succulent grows up to 250 m in altitude in the hilly and rocky regions.


Euphorbia pseudoglobosa f. crestata is a unique, odd-shaped crested variety. Crested varieties are the result of a genetic mutation called “Fasciation”. This phenomenon is an alteration in he process of cell division of the meristem. The apical meristem is a cellular tissue whose cells remain undifferentiated, which means that they don’t have a specific function in the plant other than to originate new differentiated plant tissue: it is the cellular tissue that makes up the buds. Typically, a meristem cell undergoes division, giving rise to new cells in a radial pattern around a central point, which houses the original meristem cell, also known as the “first cell”. However, in the case of fasciation, a peculiar phenomenon occurs. Here, new cells are generated only in two perpendicular directions relative to the plant organ’s growth axis. This results in the formation of unusual and distorted growth forms, such as the crested varieties. Crested variety show usually flattened stems that, during the process of growth, tend to curl creating nut-shaped or brain-shaped structures, so that the real shape of the species turns to be unrecognizable. Euphorbia pseudoglobosa, in its original shape, appears as a clump of sub-sphaerical-globose tubercles, divided into ribs in a way similar to cacti. In the crested form, instead, the tubercles get flattened on their top, become fan-shaped, and finally curl creating a brain-shaped structure. The colour remains the same of the original fomr: pale seagreen with a bluish hint and reddish shades, particularly evident on the colour of the spines. Crested forms don’t bloom due to the severe alteration in cell division capacity.


This succulent is characterized by its slow growth, making it a relatively low-maintenance plant. It thrives in full sunlight, but it’s crucial to avoid temperatures dipping below 10°C, necessitating indoor placement when it gets chilly. To ensure proper drainage and prevent root rot—a common concern with this species—the soil should be a well-balanced mix of pumice, clay, and loam. Using a perforated pot is advised to allow excess water to drain.
From March to November, during its active growth phase, regular watering is recommended, approximately every 7 days. Always ensure the soil is thoroughly dry before the next watering. In winter, it’s essential to withhold watering, allowing the plant to enter its dormant period. For an extra boost in growth, consider fertilizing with cactus-specific nutrients once a month throughout the growing season, but refrain from fertilizing during winter.
Given its expansive and tuberous root system, opt for a pot that is sufficiently large and deep. If the current pot starts feeling cramped, transplanting to one that’s about 2 cm wider is advisable. When repotting, opt for fresh potting soil early in the growing season. Handle the plant with care and wear gloves, as it exudes a toxic latex.
Should you choose to cover the caudex, expect rapid and lush growth. Conversely, if the caudex is exposed to direct sunlight, expect a reduction in overall vegetation size.


Euphorbia pseudoglobosa f. crestata can be propagated only through cutting or grafting. Being it a crested form it in fact doesn’t produce seeds: even if it produced them, these seeds would probably not give rise to another crested individual, because they would not maintain the genetic mutation.
Spring provides an opportune moment to undertake this propagation endeavor. Carefully select a healthy stem, ensuring it possesses the vigor and vitality necessary for successful reproduction.
With the judicious use of a sharp, sterile cutting tool, make a clean incision on the chosen stem. This incision, performed with utmost precision, initiates the propagation journey. Following this crucial step, patience becomes paramount. Allowing the cut surface to air dry is imperative; it is during this period that a protective callus gradually forms, safeguarding the wound and fortifying the nascent growth.
After a few days of meticulous monitoring, as the cut surface evolves into a resilient callus, the next stage of the propagation process beckons. Prepare a carefully concocted mixture, comprising an amalgamation of sand, soil, and pumice. This composition, meticulously curated, provides the ideal nurturing environment for the nascent growth to flourish and establish its roots.
For those eager to amplify their chances of success, a prudent strategy involves creating not one, but two or more cuttings simultaneously. This deliberate approach, though slightly more involved, can exponentially enhance the prospects of a thriving propagation.
To further enhance the likelihood of a flourishing propagation, maintaining a consistently warm environment is highly recommended. Aim for temperatures hovering around a balmy 20 °C. This nurturing climate provides an optimal backdrop for the cuttings to embark on their transformative journey towards robust, independent growth.
Grafting is also possible: use Euphorbia canariensis as a rootstock.


The name “Euphorbia” finds its origins in the Latin term “euphorbea,” which pays homage to Euphorbus, the esteemed Greek physician in the service of Juba II of Mauretania, who is credited with the plant’s purported discovery during the 1st century BC. The epithet “pseudoglobosa” refers instead to the shape of the stem of the original species, which show globose stems, but though slightly elongated, so not totally globose.

Official Web Site:

Italian Blog:

Read our advice

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search