Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Candelabra Tree, Naboom
Euphorbia ingens

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: ingens (IN-gens) (Info)

Synonym:Euphorbia candelabrum

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Cactus and Succulents

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


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 semi-hardwood cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 53 photos.
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5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive BayAreaTropics On Nov 2, 2012, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I've seen them large in the San Francisco bay area's Sunset zone 17's,possibly 16. The largest were about the size of Palmbob's March 8,2004 photo. And happy enough to bloom and fruit. Some,I have seen grow very fast from tiny dish garden plants to-8' of solid arms densely cloaked and woody trunk in as many years. Frost may get to them every three years here...but it just nips top growths and they recover as soon as spring is here.
And..if not crowded by other large plants or roots..they can grow here on no summer watering.
Beautiful form,exotic..and not often seen here.

Positive cheriperry21 On Aug 16, 2012, cheriperry21 from ROCK STREAM, NY wrote:

I am growing a candleabra here in upstate NY. I keep it in a pot and try to keep it under control, but it grows so fast, I keep it in a large pot on wheels and put it outside in the summer and bring it in during the winter months. But I am going to try and plant one in my cactus garden and let it there thru the winter and see how it does. We'll see!!
Thanks for all the great information.

Positive Baja_Costero On May 25, 2012, Baja_Costero from Baja California
Mexico (Zone 11) wrote:

Massive, fast-growing, drought-tolerant succulent tree Euphorbia. Easy to start from cuttings, also grows well from seed. Think twice about putting it in the ground where space is limited, near structures which may be damaged by falling branches, or where safety is an issue (eg. lots of foot traffic, kids & pets).

Here in the mild climate of coastal Baja California, this plant tends to do a little too well, even without supplemental irrigation. As a result of this exuberance it becomes top-heavy and drops branches, requiring attention and cleanup after storms. If you spoil the plant, this problem only gets worse. On the up side, there are always abundant cuttings around to start new plants.

Exercise caution when pruning or handling this plant. Wear gloves and use eye protection when sawing or cutting. Like other Euphorbias this plant contains a fairly noxious sap. Some people seem immune to it, others can develop nasty rashes, especially when the skin is broken. The spines of this plant are not much of a threat on their own, but can be fairly dangerous combined with fresh sap.

Also a well-behaved container plant, will need to be periodically restarted. Flowers attract great swarms of flying insects.

Stumps will branch at the base to form new plants. Plant is self fertile and produces lots of seed, so volunteer seedlings are not uncommon underneath.

Positive RWhiz On Sep 10, 2005, RWhiz from Spring Valley, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Large tree Euphorbia. When young the stem segments remain upright, but with age they start to twist and turn and hang down. Forms new leaflets along the stem edges yearly and then loses them.

When mature, very picturesque in a grotesque way.

Positive palmbob On Aug 17, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

A common landscape Euphorbia in Southern California... it can eventually reach monstrous proportions, and have branches that fall or droop and become tortuous. Adults can weigh a ton or more. It is sparsely spined. Older parts of the plant eventually become woody and sturdy, but the rest of it remains fleshy and succulent. Easily grown from cuttings that can be just stuffed into the soil.

Plant sometimes confused with other large candelabrum Euphorbias, of which there are many. This one is distinguished by its near lack of leaves at any time of the year, and almost lack of spines, which are really just blunted, harmless projections from its ridges. This is as apposed to E abbysinica and E ammak which have large, very sharp spines, and usually have pronounced leafy phases in summer.

I have seen at least one article in the CSSA journal listing this plant as Euphorbia candelabrum, with the claim that THATshould be the proper name for this species, and that Euphorbia ingens should be dropped... yet subsequent issues have continued to refer to this plant as Euphorbia ingens... so that is how I will continue to refer to it as, until forced to do otherwise.

This plant also is less symmetrical and ordered in appearance as E abbysinica, which is a much more compact and rigid plant. E ingens tends to have some wavy branches, and be less upright in silohuette- often spreading in all directions haphazardly. E abbysinica is a more vertically oriented plant and most of its branches are predictably vertical in nature and quite symmetrical. E ingens is definitely the sloppier, less elegant plant. But for overall size, it is hard to surpass. It is also, by far, the much more commonly planted plant in southern California.

Recent freeze (Jan 07) showed me that being complacent about this plant's hardiness is not necessarily a good idea... most of the plants in my yard are still alive, but most are also damaged, and limbs have fallen and are turning to mush a week later. 27F was the temp and I would probably consider this the limit for this species, at least if during an extended period (lasted about 5 hours this time).


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

Phoenix, Arizona
Encino, California
Hayward, California
Huntington Beach, California
Norwalk, California
Reseda, California
San Diego, California
San Leandro, California
Santa Ana, California
Spring Valley, California
Stockton, California
Valley Center, California
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Spring Branch, Texas

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