This blog is dedicated to plants from desert regions around the world as well as plants that have adapted to withstand arid conditions, but do not occur in real deserts. Many of the plants are found in arid semi-desert regions. There will be a greater emphasis on succulent plants, but others will also be included. This blog deals with desert plants of the Americas, Africa, Arabia and others. We are situated in South Africa and South African plants are likely to feature more dominantly. The pictures taken are from our private botanical desert garden at Leopoort near Oudtshoorn, from plants in nature, as well as other collections.

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Euphorbia multiceps (pyramidalis) is widely distributed in the hot arid areas from the Tanqua Karoo in the Northern Cape, westerly to the Ceres Karoo in the Western Cape. Some of these areas have a very low rainfall and such sparse vegetation that they can be considered real deserts. Euphorbia multiceps (pyramidalis) appears to avoid these very dry areas.

Close to a farm dam in the Tanqua Karoo I have seen some large specimens grow to a height of 50 cm or even more. Usually the plants are 30 cm or less in height.

The type Euphorbia multiceps borders on the pyramidalis form loosely in the southern parts of the Karoo north of Matjiesfontein and reappears towards Springbok in the Northern Cape. In between these limits the pyramidalis form is found.

The plants differ from the type form of Euphorbia multiceps in that the cone shape is less stable and the plants take on numerous forms. The branches (fingers) are generally relatively longer then in the type, and the thorns are sometimes brownish but this is not always the case. (There are numerous forms of both types of Euphorbia multiceps that I have not seen and some of this information is certainly open to debate.)

The flowers are bisexual and are similar to the type multiceps. The involucre glands are reddish brown initially and turn to brownish green as the flowers mature.

The cultivation of Euphorbia multiceps (pyramidalis) is rather difficult and both seedlings and adult plant are more prone to die in cultivation than the normal Euphorbia multiceps.

Hot summers and light conditions are essential and some drought stress between watering seems to avoid early death to some degree. The minimum recommended temperature in winter is probably around - 3 deg Celsius.

A medium sized cultivated plant of Euphorbia multiceps (pyramidalis).