Euphorbia lydenburgensis

Euphorbia hawthorn (photo): features of the species, conditions for nutrition and reproduction

Origin and Habitat: Endemic to the Steenkampsberg, the Blyde River Canyon and the adjacent Olifants River Gorge. South Africa (Mpumalanga: Bushveld area). Type locality: Lydenburg, town in Mpumalanga
Altitude: 650 — 960 metres above sea level.
Habitat: It grows in rocky outcrops and valleys along side with Aloe wickensii.

Description: Euphorbia lydenburgensis is a much branched, spiny, cactus-like, succulent shrub with characteristic thin branchlets. Lovely colour combination when yellow flowers appear in spring. Its nearest relative is Euphorbia griseola.
Habit: Shrub without a distinct main stem, or with a reduced main stem, branching from the base and rebranching above near the apex, with a flat crown, up to 1,5 (usually about 60 cm.) high.
Stem: Branchlet ascending or erect, slightly constricted at irregular intervals, 4 (or rarely 5)-angled, 10-15 mm wide, with the sides slightly concave, glabrous, angles with shallow situate teeth approx. 1 cm apart; uniformly greenish-yellow.
Spine shields: Horny and forming a continuous ridge.
Spines: Slender, paired, 6-7 mm long. Stipular spines less than 1 mm long.
Flowers: Just above the spines on the ridges of the terminal segment; Cyathia single, 3 mm in diameter; bisexual; yellow. Nectar glands oblong, yellow, just touching.
Blooming season: Early spring (In habitat in September).
Fruit: Sessile 3-lobed capsule, 3-6 mm in diameter, red when mature, lobes obtuse, splitting maturing in late spring (In habitat October-November).
Seeds: Ovoid 2 mm long, 1,75 mm broad, somewhat tuberculate.

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Ernst Schmidt, Mervyn Lötter, Warren McCleland “Trees and Shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park” Jacana Media, 01/gen/2002
2) Alain Campbell White, Robert Allen Dyer, Boyd L. Sloane “The succelent Euphorbisae (southern Africa)” Abbey garden press, 1941
3) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons” Springer, 2002
4) Hermann Jacobsen “A handbook of succulent plalnts: Abromeitiella to Euphorbia” Blandford Press, 1960

Cultivation and Propagation: Euphorbia lydenburgensis is another easy plant to grow. It makes great potted specimens.
Growth rate: It grows well, though slowly, but it possible to increase the speed of growth to some extent by providing adequate amount of water, warmth, and a liquid fertilizer diluted half strength during the active growing season, but it’s susceptible to rotting if too wet. Most plants will offset readily, and large bushes can be produced in a few years.
Soil:Likes porous sub-acidic substrata (pH 6) with adequate drainage. Outdoors it does well on poor, rocky soils.
Exposure: Need bright light (also blasting sun in summer) to partial shade for best appearance. It responds well to warmth, with its active growth period in the late spring and summer months. If grown indoor provide 4 to 6 hours, or more, direct morning or afternoon sun.
Watering: Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch during active growing season (more than once a week during hot weather) In the winter months, waterigs should be suspended or restricted to once over the winter. The most common failure in growing this plant is over watering, especially during the winter months.
Hardiness: Very tender, protect from frost. During winter month, put them in a cool luminous place and encourage them to enter winter dormancy by withholding water and fertiliser over the winter as they will etiolate, or become thin, due to lower levels of light.
Maintenance: Repot every two years. Needs lots and lots of space to grow, use large shallow container filled with very porous compost. It like pots with generous drain holes.
Reproduction: It is propagated by cuttings. The seeds may be germinated and grown in containers. Their main requirements consist of high humidity levels, free-draining soil mix, and enough water, light, and nutrition. It is recommend taking Euphorbia cuttings in Spring/Summer when the plant is growing so that they have a better chance of success. They key is heat & good air circulation. These cuttings should be dipped in Hormone powder (but it is not needed) and left for a period of 3-4 weeks to callous. Then pot the cutting and don’t water ( or kept slightly moist) until rooted. These will root just fine, if you can put the pot outside in the summer, or put pot on a heating pad.
Warning: As with all other Euphorbias when a plant get damaged it exudes a thick white milky sap known as latex. This latex is poisonous and particularly dangerous for the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. So pay extreme attention not to get any in your eyes or mouth. Cultivated plants must be handled carefully.

Herbaceous perennial Euphorbia cypress — description with photo

Sometimes there is a situation when you have to fill empty places in the flower garden or create a beautiful edging flower beds in the garden.

For these purposes, euphorbia cypress is good.

Rockeries, arabesques, rabatki and mixborders successfully complemented by this unpretentious flower. All about Euphorbia cypress: rules of planting and care, a description of the plant with photos, read our article.


Euphorbia cypress — small plant (15-30 cm) with strongly branching stiff, erect stem. Gray-green stalks are covered with abundant dense foliage. Closely seated linear, slightly curved gray leaves give the plant similarity with cypress — hence its specific name.

In May, closely located hemispheres of inflorescences appear on the tops of the stems. Their usual coloring is olive yellow, but the number of shades is very diverse. Often there are plants with almost white flowers or flowers of a pink-lilac shade.

A photo

Euphorbia cypress — herb euphorbia

Prefers euphoria cypress sunny places and light soils, grows well among rubble, sand and pebbles.

Nevertheless, he feels quite well in other conditions, delighting with his undemanding.

Especially its high drought tolerance. It should be watered only in the first weeks after planting or in an extremely dry summer.

Euphorbia has a huge number of species, enjoy immense popularity: Many-flowered, Edged, Tirukalli, Comb, Mile, Pallas, Triangular, Belozilkovy.


To euphorbia cypress pleased you on your site you must follow the rules of planting and care. Planted plant in April or May. You can do this in the beginning of autumn, so that young shoots have time to take root.

Plant spurge on the edge of the flower bed. Pre need to take care about limiting his ability to stretch his underground shoots beyond the allotted territory.

It is desirable to add to the soil some humus or compost, providing the plant with food supply for many years.

Air humidity

The high humidity of the air in a rainy summer depresses it somewhat, it loses its pomp and beauty. His ancestors grew in conditions water shortagetherefore our spurge better tolerates its disadvantage than excess.

But in the hot and dry season, when other plants feel depressed, euphorbia cypress becomes a bright decoration of any flower garden!

He is a real lifesaver. for beginning flower growers or for those who do not have time to carefully care for plantings.

Euphorbia equally well tolerates both heat and cold, it never freezes, suffering even the most ferocious winters without shelter.


The most important condition for our euphorbia to feel great and look great — good solar lighting.

In such conditions, he and the bush will be most attractive, and bloom — lush and long.

In the penumbra euphorbia cypress can also look good, but too much shading depressing: it will continue to grow, but decorativeness will lose.

If you have already growing spurge, but not happy with its flowering, pay attention, maybe he just does not have enough light?

Euphorbia cypress begins to bloom in the middle of May. Sometimes a little sooner or later, it depends on the lighting and the air temperature. The warmer the weather, the earlier it will bloom.

The duration of flowering is also very dependent weather conditions. It usually ends in month and a half after the start.


After flowering, the bare stems must be pruned. So we will return the elegant look to the plant and stimulate the re-flowering that occurs after a short period of rest.

Top dressing

If humus was introduced into the soil when planting, then in subsequent years the plant will not need additional dressing: this reserve will not be long enough for undemanding euphorbia.

Planted in the sandy soil or among the rubble flowers will suffer from a lack of soil nutrition and once a year need will be feeding.

It is better to do this before blooming euphorbia, or at its beginning.

Thus, we will extend the period of the greatest decoration and we will make flowering lush.

To do this, the soil under the bushes a little sprinkled with humus or peat or watered with a solution of complex fertilizer containing microelements.


To multiply spurge is equally easy in a vegetative and seed way. You can divide the overgrown bushes or take shoots of underground shoots, which he plentifully throws in different directions.

Harvested seeds will grow better if sown in autumn. After wintering in natural conditions, in spring they will give friendly shoots. The seeds stored in the heat partially lose their germination.

Diseases and pests

Pests and diseases bypass the majority of this genus, frightened off by its acrid milky juice.

Beneficial features

Known euphorbia cypress healing properties. Evorbin, or euforbin, contained in the sap of the plant, makes it hot.

The properties of the milky juice confirm the words of the famous Paracelsus, the philosopher and healer of the Renaissance, that the same substance can be both medicine and poison depending on the dose.

Caustic juice milkweed irritates skin and mucous membranesable to cause nausea and vomiting numbness of the tongue and lowering the temperature dizziness and fainting, colitis and enteritis, respiratory failure and palpitations.

Therefore, for medicinal purposes it is usually used. in diluted form.

  • against fungus and to remove warts;
  • from some types of constipation in adults;
  • for the expulsion of intestinal parasites;
  • when removing freckles and age spots;
  • to combat insect pests.

Using milkweed as a medicinal plant requires careful handling.

This is especially true for internal use. For children it can not be used.

Growing Euphorbia cypress, planting and care will not require much effort from you. It is difficult to find a more unpretentious and at the same time spectacular flower.

You can be assured that spurge cypress in the garden will look decent. And he will always be a good helper to you in decorating the site, treating ailments, and combating pests.

Types of Hawthorn Trees

Part of the apple family, deciduous hawthorn trees (Crataegus spp.) have white spring flowers and attractive, round, edible fall fruits. Of the approximately 280 different kinds of hawthorn, most are shrubs. Tree-sized hawthorns generally grow to 25 feet tall. Native to the temperate areas of North America, Europe, and Asia, most hawthorn trees are well-armed with spines, but some thornless cultivars are available. Hawthorns are best used as accents, screens, barriers or hedges.

Thornless Trees

One of the drawbacks to using hawthorns are their spines, which make pruning and maintenance difficult. Cockspur hawthorn (Crataegus crus-Galli) has abundant thorns as long as 3 inches that can inflict serious injury. Crusader is a thornless form (Crataegus crus-Galli «Cruzam») that grows into a tree 25 to 35 feet tall and as wide. It grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 7. The relatively thornless hybrid Lavalle hawthorn (Crataegus x lavallei) has lustrous green leaves, large orange-red fruits, and bronze-red fall foliage. It’s a medium-sized tree, 20 to 30 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide, suitable as a street or specimen tree. Lavalle hawthorn grows in USDA zones 5 through 7a.

Colorful Fruits

Most hawthorn trees have red fruits, but some species have black or spotted fruits. Give variety to fall color by choosing a tree with a different color fruit. Black hawthorn (Crataegus douglassii) grows in western North America in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8. The 30-foot-tall tree bears black fruits that are sweet and juicy, suitable for eating fresh or for pies and preserves. A mostly thornless variety of an eastern North American hawthorn, «Ohio Pioneer» (Crataegus punctate «Ohio Pioneer») has red berries prominently speckled with white dots. «Ohio Pioneer» grows in USDA zones 4 through 7 and can grow to 30 feet tall.

Interesting Leaves and Bark

Most hawthorns look similar. Consider varieties that have distinguishing features such as colorful bark or leaves. Washington hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum), although it has green summer leaves, starts out with reddish-purple new leaves in spring and has purple, red and orange fall leaves. The white-flowered tree grows to 25 to 35 feet tall in USDA zones 4 through 8a. The silvery bark of «Winter King» Southern hawthorn (Crataegus viridis «Winter King») peels to reveal orange under-layers, making it a handsome tree even in winter when it is bare of leaves. The large, bright orange fruits and small thorns add to the tree’s value. «Winter King» grows in USDA zones 4 through 7.

Exotic Species

Nonnative hawthorns from Europe or Asia make useful landscaping subjects. Chinese hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida) has long been grown for its berries. The thorns are short and not plentiful, and the plant grows 15 to 20 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet wide in USDA zones 6 through 8. English hawthorn (Crataegus laevigatus) is suited for urban use, withstanding conditions such as drought, air pollution, and poor soil and drainage. The species is usually white-flowered, but colorfully flowered varieties include the red-flowered «Crimson Cloud,» double-flowered pale rose «Masekii» and pink-flowered «Rosea.» English hawthorn and its varieties grow in USDA zones 4b through 8.

Top 10 plants for birds

We recommend 10 of the best plants for attracting birds into your garden.

Even a small garden can provide a selection of natural food sources for birds all year round.

From autumn onwards, this is particularly important, as temperatures start to drop and food becomes more scarce. But which plants are the best?

Here are 10 that will provide a succession of valuable foods for a wide range of bird species.

In autumn, ivy flowers attract insects, which in turn provide food for robins and wrens.


Although holly berries are often ripe by autumn, birds such as song thrushes, blackbirds, fieldfares and redwings don’t usually feed on them until late winter. Only female plants produce berries, but there must be a male nearby to ensure pollination.

In autumn, ivy flowers attract insects, which in turn provide food for robins and wrens. When the black berries appear in the middle of winter, they’re devoured by everything from thrushes, waxwings, starlings and jays, to finches and blackbirds. The leaves provide food for caterpillars of the holly blue butterfly, as well as nesting and roosting shelter for birds.


The shiny clusters of haws can stay on hawthorn trees until February or March. They’re the favourite berry of blackbirds, redwings and fieldfares and are enjoyed by many other species too, including chaffinches, starlings and greenfinches. The leaves are the foodplant for caterpillars of many species of moth, providing food for baby birds in spring.


As it’s a climber, honeysuckle is ideal when space is tight. In autumn it provides berries and shelter for birds such as thrushes, warblers and bullfinches. In summer, its scented flowers attract insects and so provide food for a different range of birds.


Depending on which species of this tree you plant, it will bear berries from late July (Sorbus aucuparia) to November (Sorbus torminalis). You could also grow crab apples, which will attract birds such as blackbirds and starlings.


This tall architectural plant is a stalwart of naturalistic plantings. Teasels form striking seedheads in early autumn, which can last until December, depending on the weather. Goldfinches, sparrows and buntings all feast on the compact seedheads.


The branches of this shrub are laden with small red berries from autumn onwards. This plant is often the first to be stripped of its bounty, as the nutritious berries are extremely popular with garden birds such as blackbirds, thrushes and waxwings.


Leave the faded flowers on this sun-loving annual to form large seedheads. The plentiful seeds, tightly packed at the centre, provide oil-rich nourishment throughout autumn for finches, long-tailed tits, nuthatches and other seed-eating birds.

Guelder rose

This native deciduous shrub, Viburnum opulus, bears heavy clusters of glossy berries from November through to March. These are loved by mistle thrushes and bullfinches, in particular. It makes an excellent hedging plant too.

Shrub rose

Some of the largest rose hips are produced by the hedging rose, Rosa rugosa, and these are taken by blackbirds, fieldfares and mistle thrushes. The smaller hips of the dog rose, Rosa canina, are eaten by a wider range of birds and stay juicy until late winter.

Kate Bradbury says

The more berrying plants you grow, the better. These provide a perennial source of nutritious, antioxidant-rich food for birds in autumn, which is a longer lasting and more reliable way to help birds than by filling feeders.

Modern Plants for a Bold and Beautiful Garden

The design trend of choosing plants for their structural and sculptural qualities rather than decorative aesthetic evolved shortly after WWII. Some of those plants are still used today and others have been reinvented. Here are 13 plants that work well in modern-style gardens.

‘Color Guard’. Photo by: Proven Winners.

Mod Appeal: Yucca’s stiffly upright crown of evergreen swordlike foliage creates a living sculpture. Though perfect for a drought-tolerant garden with a southwestern feel, especially when combined with cacti and succulents, many types are hardy as far north as Zone 4.

Update: Types with cream or yellow centers, (like ‘Color Guard’) or edges (like ‘Bright Edge’) really glow in a sun-drenched garden; ‘Starburst’ has cream stripes that take on a pink tinge in cool weather. Banana Split® is tender but glorious in a simple container.

Canna ‘Pretoria’ (left), elephant’s ear Alocasia macrorrhiza (right). Photo by: Susan A. Roth.

Mod Appeal: Structural to the extreme! Lush, oversize foliage like that of Canna ‘Pretoria’ and elephant’s ear Alocasia macrorrhiza provides a perfect foil for the spare straight lines of modernist architecture and offers a tropical, exotic look. Dramatic in mass plantings, but the simplicity of one elephant’s ear makes a bold statement.

Update: Used in over-the-top Victorian gardens, but development of canna cultivars with striped or nearly black foliage have put them back on the scene. Others, notable for their flowers, are the Toucan® series, that bloom in dark orange, scarlet, yellow, rose and coral. The 70 or so species of elephant’s ears are hardy in Zones 7 to 10, but are used seasonally in cooler regions because they grow so fast—up to 6 feet in one season. Striking cultivars and hybrids are ‘Hilo Beauty’, ‘Black Velvet’, ‘Lutea’ and ‘Variegata’.

Shadowland® ‘Autumn Frost’. Photo by: Walters Gardens / Proven Winners.

Mod Appeal: Unbeatable foliage plant, forming the backbone of many shade gardens. Use as a specimen in a pot or in sweeps of ground cover.

Update: A flood of new cultivars entered the market years ago, with a mind-boggling array of leaf shapes, sizes and colors. While some older varieties are still rock-solid selections, choice newer introductions include Shadowland® ‘Autumn Frost’, ‘Hanky Panky’, ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’, ‘Paul’s Glory’ and ‘Stiletto’.

Pyromania™ Orange Blaze. Photo by: Proven Winners.

Mod Appeal: Strongly vertical, yet compact, the red-hot poker contributes the all-important eyestopping moment to a design. Pyromania™ Orange Blaze Kniphofia (shown center), is a hybrid with bright orange flowers over grass-like foliage.

Update: Red-hot pokers have gotten sophisticated with subtle shades of cream, primrose, lemon and burnt apricot with fine, grassy foliage—try Pyromania™ Flashpoint (yellow),‘Toffee Nosed’ (cream) or ‘Little Maid’ (yellow-green).

Photo by: Susan A. Roth.

Mod Appeal: Space-age globes of flowers float above mounds of strappy foliage, attractive even when not in bloom. Plant en masse or in a pot.

Update: This conservatory plant from South Africa moved outdoors with the arrival of the hardier Headbourne Hybrids in the 1940s, just in time to become a darling of the modernists. Further breeding has produced plants with flowers in white (‘White Heaven’), variegated foliage (‘Tinkerbell’), and dwarf (‘Peter Pan’) or giant (‘Storm Cloud’) forms.

Phormium ‘Sundowner’. Photo by: John Glover.


Mod Appeal: For designers concerned with form, texture and color, New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) is a godsend. The long, leathery, swordlike leaves fan out boldly and hold their shape through thick and thin.

Update: Breeding at a furious pace has produced some excellent garden varieties, both in form and color, e.g., Phormium ‘Sundowner’.

Photo by: Andrea Jones.

Mod Appeal: The fleshy, organic geometry of succulents is fascinating and seems particularly at home in contemporary settings. The California modernists in particular enjoyed the graphic impact of these low-upkeep plants in the garden and in containers. A conversation piece in windowsill gardens in cooler zones. Their symmetrical rosettes can be nearly flat to the ground or perched atop snaky stems.

Update: In sunny, warm zones Aeonium haworthii ‘Variegatum’ (shown) branches readily into a mat of subtle foliage. For a dramatic focal point in a pot, try Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’, a black-maroon oddity. The aptly named ‘Dinner Plate’ is only 2 inches tall but 12 inches across.

Rock ‘N Grow® ‘Pure Joy’. Photo by: Walters Gardens / Proven Winners.

Mod Appeal: Tolerant of most soil types, drought- and disease-resistant with interesting foliage and long-lasting flowers appearing late in the season, the sedums are an easy sell to any garden designer looking for an attractive, hardworking plant that plays well with others of the same ilk, such as grasses—just ask Oehme, van Sweden.

Update: Constant breeding work on sedums has introduced many superb varieties such as Rock ‘N Grow® ‘Pure Joy’, which shares the all-round virtues of its family plus bubblegum pink flowers that attract butterflies and bees. Attractive seed heads follow after the blooming season.

Evergold Sedge. Photo by: Proven Winners.

Mod Appeal: Fountains of delicate foliage and flowers are good foils for bolder plants and add movement to thegarden. Tall grasses make living hedges; shorter grasses and sedges are tidy yet informal edging. Handsome in the garden even in their winter tans and browns.

Update: Grasses and sedges have taken the gardening world by storm. Varieties with variegated foliage, such as Evergold sedge (Carex hachijoensis) with dark green and bright gold striped leaves are popular.

Photo by: Andrea Jones.


Mod Appeal: Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) is a robust vine in warm zones and a houseplant farther north. Used in interiors so often at midcentury that it is synonymous with the fifties. Split-leaf philodendron (Philodendron selloum) has the same architectural look but doesn’t climb.

Update: As if the deeply split and perforated leaves weren’t striking enough, ‘Variegata’ has white markings and ‘Marmorata’, splashes of yellow.

Photo by: Andrew Lawson.

Mod Appeal: The modernists agreed with the Victorians on this one. Aucuba japonica has full-season interest with glossy evergreen leaves and red berries. Adaptable, easy shrub for shade.

Update: Breeding programs have produced a plethora of variegated forms. Joining the old standby ‘Variegata’, or gold dust plant, are ‘Picturata’, ‘Mr. Goldstrike’ and ‘Pepper Pot’.

Photo by: Andrew Lawson.

Mod Appeal: A native of Japan, Fatsia japonica suits the Asian-inspired style of many modernist homes, making a bold foliage plant for the shade.

Update: Fatsia is a familiar houseplant that has made a transition to the outdoor landscape in warmer zones. The variegated leaves of ‘Aurea’ and ‘Variegata’ create a bright spot in shady gardens. The lace-doily leaves of ‘Manchu Fan’ are intricately lobed and nearly circular.

Photo by: Jerry Pavia.

Mod Appeal: A cast-iron constitution, shade tolerance and easy upkeep explain the appeal of smart, functional lily turf (Liriope muscari). But, like many other stalwart ground covers, it has been overexposed to the point of cliché.

Update: Liriope muscari ‘Pee Dee Ingot’, on the other hand, inspires reverence among leading-edge gardeners for its fountains of chartreuse foliage—chartreuse being the in color, along with black, for foliage fanciers today.

Watch this short video to see how a modern planting plan was put together.

The History of Mid-Century Modern Plants

Just as architects veered off in a radical new direction in the years after World War II, garden designers were throwing off the yoke of the highly ornamented, specimen-packed gardens of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Like their architect peer group, they embraced the modern principles of simplicity, efficiency and functionality.

Christopher Tunnard, a garden designer with a teaching appointment at Harvard who had migrated from Europe to America in 1939, produced a book, Gardens in the Modern Landscape (Architectural Press, 1938), which proved to be a major influence on the Eckbo, Church, Rose generation of modernist garden designers. On planting design,Tunnard was clear: “To plant is but a part of landscape composition; to co-ordinate is all.”

For the modern landscape designer, that translated into the sparing use of plants chosen for their sculptural rather than their decorative effects. They were to be enjoyed, like abstract art, for their color, form, texture and balance. Foliage was in, flowers were out. The point was to provide a backdrop for the evolving suburban way of life. Tunnard said, “Landscape architecture is indispensable for living the good life…it is for human enjoyment in the 20th century, not for Sunday promenading in the 19th.”

The midcentury also ushered in the glory days of the American lawn, long before concerns about water conservation reached a head. Manicured turf was everywhere: subtle, monochromatic, minimal—and, if you didn’t think too much about it, it even looked low maintenance. Midcentury designers lauded the low-maintenance garden, which not only carried forward the lessons of good design, but also gave the garden back to everyman. Today’s designers tend to speak rhapsodically about native plants for similar reasons. It was a time of purposeful austerity, a time when gardens were composed of a limited plant palette, marked by the repetition of shapes and materials.

Of course some of those midcentury plants have hung around and are mainstays today—a testament to their reliability. Some have been the source of renewed interest, thanks to plant breeders who have reinvented the old favorites—coleus, for example. “New” modern plants have also entered the arena—ornamental grasses and garden varieties of American natives, such as Rudbeckia. Understanding the principles of modernist design makes it possible to fill out the contemporary plant list with species and cultivars that weren’t available 50 years ago yet are still appropriate to the philosophy. The march goes on because the lessons of good design never go out of style.

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