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Candelabra Plant, False Cactus, Dragon Bones, Elkhorn 'Cristata'

Euphorbia lactea

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: lactea (lak-TAY-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Cristata


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Brea, California

Carlsbad, California

Spring Valley, California

Bartow, Florida

Wellborn, Florida

Austin, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 14, 2010, fireflyintexas from New Braunfels, TX wrote:

I received this euphorbia years ago and it sits on my patio and gets some afternoon sun. On the nights it goes below freezing in South Central Texas (New Braunfels), I throw a large blanket over it (the plant now stands about 4 - 4 1/2 ft. tall) and it keeps on keeping on. I don't cut it to produce the 'crowns'...I don't like the look of the scarred foliage. It will crown on its own, just not as often. I love the natural look of the longer stems intermixed with the occasional crowning. Very natural and beautiful. My euphorbia is hardier than the books would have you believe. It doesn't like alot of water....that part is true. An interesting, intriguing, easy-to-care-for plant!


On May 28, 2006, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

All of these Euphorbias in the photographs appear to be grafted, that is, they are NOT grown naturally.


On Feb 12, 2003, albleroy from Wavre/ greenhous +/- 2500 species, IA wrote:

There exist also the species, not cristated, who, on the island of Tenerife (in my garden) reach without problem a hight of 5/6 meter. We are cutting every year a lot of branches (like we do in Europe with hedges) we make it in triangular forms (next visit in april/may) I will make photos to let you see.

Interested in joining me on Tenerife for field reserche?
send an email.