SnowflakeSnowflake Euphorbia


"I'll hurt thee not, for once upon this breast,
Fell, like a snowflake on a fever'd lip,
Thy love. Thy soul shall, dreamlike, pass from thee."

-Philip James Bailey
(1816-1905)

   

This South African succulent Euphorbia polygona is the cultivar 'Snowflake,' shown here in the Grigsby's form, named for David Grigsby of Grigsby Cactus Gardens of Vista, California.

Snowflake is paler than the regular plant, being blue-white or greyish-white instead of green. It can become still paler as it ages, & there is another cultivar that is palest of all, called 'Super White.'

SnowflakeThe first photo was taken shortly after we potted it. The second photo was taken a year or so later. It hadn't gotten much taller in that amount of time, but it had produced many new barrels from its base.

E. polygona can easily be started from one of the young ones that develop all around the plant, but one must be sure to wash one's hands after being bled on by its sap.

Ours is still hardly more than a belly-cactus so far, but it could easily reach 18 inches tall, sending up younger plants all around the base until it forms a considerable clump. A round pot suits its growth pattern best.

In places like the Southwest or in Southern California people grow this Euphorbia outside, but here in the Northwest it is strictly a houseplant. In very hot climates it can tolerate a bit of shade, but elsewhere needs as much sun as it can get. Ours spent its first year in a south-facing window burning hot in summer, & at least well-lit the rest of the year

The sap of euphorbias can be toxic, but to what degree is frequently exaggerated. If removing starts from a specimen, just be sure to wash your hands afterward.

   



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