Friday, September 6, 2013

Euphorbia lambii also known as the Tree Euphorbia. Another tough and low water use specimen

 Euphorbia lambii aka Tree Euphorbia


I first saw Euphorbia lambii when I started working in my current job working in a huge garden in Parkville. When I first laid eyes on it I was immediately struck by the magnificent symmetrical architecture of its branches. The appearance of this plant really quite individual and I'm not sure why but I have always thought of it as looking somewhat prehistoric. The cultural notes for this plant are basically identical to Euphorbia characias which I have written a previous entry on (see http://aggregata.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/euphorbia-characias-subsp-wulfenii.html). This tree only grows to about 2m in height with a spread of roughly 1-1.5m. It flowers in late winter through to the end of spring. Due to its weedy toughness and ability to self seed quarantine restricts its sale to W.A and N.T in Australia. In other countries with similar climates I believe it is also classified as a weed so please check before planting it.

Toxicity of Euphorbias

 That last entry I wrote about Euphorbia characias was a bit controversial with some readers due to the fact that it is actually a weed in some places but someone was also concerned about the potential toxic affects of the milky Euphorbia sap. I feel obligated to state that you shouldn't eat this plant (I don't know why anyone would) as its sap is toxic. The sap itself can also cause irritation to the skin if contact is made but oddly the sap is also used as a traditional medicine against various skin issues. Do not get the sap in your eyes. A woman at my place of study got Euphorbia sap in her eye and had to get her eyes flushed with water.

Close up of Euphorbia lambii's lime green flowers



This particular specimen is at full size. They don't really get much larger than this (in my neck of the woods at least)



The dividing branch structure of this plant is what makes it look so unusual. 




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