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Mystery (to me ;-) Succulent Identification: What is this? Answered

I bought this really interesting succulent(?) from a door-to-door plant salesman a week ago.  

The pot is 5", so that gives you a size reference.  This strange-growing plant appears to have thorns, but the spikey protrusions are not hard or ouchie-sharp.

Does anyone know what species it is?



Best Answer 5 years ago

I believe it is a type of Euphorbia lactea. You are probably used to seeing them with a bunch of skinny branches (people often call the other kind candelabra plants), but I think this kind, with the "paddles" are another type. I do know that the candelabra ones that have the spikes and skinny branches can be very posionous to eat or touch so you may want to check on that if you have pets or kids around.

Boy, they sure take on a wide variety of expression! I found some research that said this species always "bleeds white".

I pricked one of the paddles with a needle... and it did!

Thanks for solving the mystery, aliceach! ;-)

We know that plants are great for indoor air quality, but if you’ve got a black thumb, the thought of keeping a house plant alive probably fills you with a little bit of dread. Succulents to the rescue!

Growing succulents requires little water, and once you’ve established your succulents they don’t need much maintenance. These beautiful plants can be a little bit pricey up front, but one other cool feature about succulents is that they’re very easy to propagate. That means you can invest in just one or two plants to start and use those plants to start your mini succulent garden.

To create your garden, you can cluster a few little potted succulents on a sunny table top or windowsill or you can use one large planter and arrange them there. My friend Jeanee at Finely Crafted is super knowledgeable about growing succulents, and she was kind enough to share some excellent tips about how to keep those succulents alive!

Growing Succulents Indoors

1. Succulents need great drainage. Instead of planting in just potting soil, create a mix of 1/3 Permatill or very small gravel with 2/3 potting soil. This will keep your succulents from drowning!

2. Preventing leaf rot. Succulents like the one in the photo above have leaves that are very close to the soil. To keep the leaves from rotting, put some rocks under the lower leaves.

3. Let them rest. For two days after you plant, don’t water your succulents and keep them out of direct sunlight. They need a little time to bounce back from the shock. www.cusabio.com il-6 elisa kit
4. Fertilize. Once a month, use a liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength to feed your succulents. Do you forget to fertilize like I do? Set yourself a recurring reminder on your phone or computer’s calendar! My plants have gone from dying to thriving since I started doing this.

5. Don’t over water. Succulents don’t need a lot of water, so water sparingly – start with once a week and see how they like it, and don’t water if the soil feels moist to the touch. If the leaves stay plump, you’ve hit the sweet spot. If they are looking skinny, it’s time for a little water.

6. Find a sunny window. Succulents do need some sunlight. Give them at least 4 hours of sun each day.

It's Kalezilla. Knew this would happen, what with all of the kale recipes going around.....

They sure do look a lot alike... 'cept mine has no thorns whatsoever.

Normally new growth doesn't have thorns, but if it has a milky fluid when you cut it, then it is a euphorbia. The Euphorbia Pugniformis, looks almost identical to the Austroylindropuntia subulata, as well as your specimen, so I would say that is what you have (versus the Euphorbia lactea, which has different physical characteristics).

Thanks, cg! The Pugniformis is dang-near a spitting image. lol... It's gotta be a Euphorbia something-or-other.

I also learned I have other Euphorbia varieties that I didn't even know I had! Before I know it, I'll be so edumacated, I'll need to buy a bigger hat! ;-D

The Natural History Museum (www.nhm.org) has forums for identifying mystery living things.

Thank you for pointing me in this direction, Kiteman.

I got off-track (in a good way) reading about the Zom-bees. What a fascinating, educational and interesting website!!!!

Audry II? Don't feed it blood!

I got nothin. ;-)