Family: Euphorbiaceae
Habitat: East-tropical Africa
Cultivation: In a greenhouse grow in standard soil for cactus, in full light and with low humidity. Outdoors in poor / moderately fertile soil, well drained, in semi-shaded areas.
Curiosity: Recently, it has been included in the Euphorbia genre, although many collectors prefer to consider it still a genre in itself.


Monadenium is a genus of about fifty species of perennial succulent, bushy, arboreal. This type of plant grows mainly in eastern or tropical Africa, in countries such as Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The genus is characterized by strong differentiations, depending on the area of ​​origin and distribution: some remind  small palms, others  have the stem covered with small tubercles on which the inflorescences sprout directly.

This variability suggests that these species are characterized by a strong adaptation to the environment. Some species produce annual vegetation from an underground tuber. Others keep fleshy fruit throughout the year. In the summer they produce small, petals-free flowers cup – shaped inside   yellow, red or brown wrappings.

The Monadenium, although it comes from drought-resistant territories, seems to prefer shaded areas than sun exposure. It is recommended to pay attention to the milk lymph contained in the tissues: it may be irritating due to the presence of resins and euphoric acid.


Over fifty species are listed under the Monadenium genus; Below you find the main ones.

  • Monadenium arborescens
  • M. crispum
  • M. echinulatum
  • M. elegans
  • M. ellenbeckii
  • M. guentheri
  • M. heteropodum
  • M. invenustum
  • M. lugardiae
  • M. mafigense
  • M. magnificum
  • M. parviflorum
  • M. reflexum
  • M. ritchiei
  • M. rubellum
  • M. schubei
  • M. spectabile
  • M. torrei


Here are our growing tips for the Monadenium:

  • EXPOSURE: In the greenhouse, it wants exposure in full light with low humidity. Outdoors keep it in semi-shaded areas, avoiding direct exposure to the sun.
  • TEMPERATURE: Being a desert plant during winter never bring it to temperatures below 15 ° C. Use a warm greenhouse.
  • WATERING: Water only during the vegetative period, or at the beginning of spring. Suspend watering during the winter.
  • SOIL: In greenhouse cultivate in standard soil for cactus, with low humidity. Outdoors in poor / moderately fertile soil, well drained.
  • CONCIMATION: fertilize monthly in the vegetative period, using low-nitrogen fertilizers.
  • REPOT: The need for repotting is extremely variable according to the species considered.
  • REPRODUCTION: Sow at approximately 20 ° in the spring. Alternatively, you can make cuttings from the stem sections and then root them in the spring and summer.

Important: Pic from Euphorbia guentheri (Monadenium guentheri) – Krohn Conservatory –

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