Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Variegated Indian Corn Cob
Euphorbia mammillaris var. variegata

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: mammillaris var. variegata

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9 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Cactus and Succulents

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
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:
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

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:
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Happenstance
Thumbnail #1 of Euphorbia mammillaris var. variegata by Happenstance

By Happenstance
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By kniphofia
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By palmbob
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By nokats
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By palmbob
Thumbnail #6 of Euphorbia mammillaris var. variegata by palmbob

By kniphofia
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There are a total of 29 photos.
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6 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive poeciliopsis On Jan 23, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- I find Euphorbia mammilaris variegata to be an easy Euphorb to grow outdoors in the ground here in Phoenix. I have two plants in the ground and others in pots. The in-ground plants have different micro-habitats with one having light partial shade and once-a-month water and no winter protection. It is slightly more healthy and grows faster than the other, which is in deep shade with slightly more water and is protected under a cold frame in winter.

Positive XerosOrchid On Jul 16, 2011, XerosOrchid from Scottsdale, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have been successful in growing this plant on the East side of the house, under the very spotty, very light shade of a Palo Verde tree, for the duration of the morning hours until 1PM (at June 21, summer solstice) the shade of the house moved over the plant for the rest of the afternoon. The plant is exposed to extreme dry heat at 110 degrees (and even above), and watered 1-2 days after the soil dries out. In winter, when temperatures drop to below 34 degrees at night, the plant is brought indoors and kept very dry under a skylight. Watering during the winter months (November-March) is cut back severely. Watering always occurs in the morning - never in the evening - with very hard well water.

Altitude: 2,200 ft.

Note: will not do well on a North-facing porch, too shady.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Oct 31, 2008, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I'm trying this for the second time here in the bay area.The first time it rotted in it's pot one winter. This time I planted them in ground with other tender succulents.That's another point,I really have strong doubts it is hardy to 20f. I would guess like most tropical Euphorbia's, below freezing is close to certain death more or less. Planting a day before November isn't best timing!,but this is California where if it isn't hot or cold..then its always in the middle.

Positive palmbob On Dec 30, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Here in southern California this one doesnt' need much frost protection, but guess it depends on what the low gets to. So far, lows into the high to mid 20s don't affect this plant much. At new home in Acton, where got down to 22F this year, not a hint of cold damage, either... hardy! It is prone to rot when it's not growing much and overwhatered, but that seems to be a warm weather problem for me. EAsy plant here- great for pots and for landscaping as well. Tolerates a good deal of drought, but has its limits there, and have seen many kill their plants by never watering them. Handles full sun, here, too, even if over 110F. Not quite as reliable in a very shady situation, particularly if moist, or planted in soils that hold a lot of moisture.

Positive hanna1 On May 31, 2005, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Needs frost protection in Phoenix. Min. temp. is 45F. Light shade. Keep drier in Winter. Propagation thru cuttings, seeds. Take branch in Summer, wash latex, let dry for a week & plant. Do not water the cutting until it shows a fair amount of growth. If temps are low, may not be any growth for several months. Be patient!
From South Africa (Little Karoo & Southern Cape area).
A great addition, it's color is great against the green variety.

Positive Happenstance On Aug 28, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

An elegant cousin with white-green coloration. Given outdoor direct sun it takes on a pinkish caste. It's a beauty!

Like all Euphorbia HANDLE WITH CARE, the latex/sap is dangerous and can cause skin rash, itching and general discomfort.


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

Phoenix, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)
Brea, California
Canoga Park, California
Capistrano Beach, California
Carlsbad, California
Castro Valley, California
Clayton, California
Clovis, California
Fairfield, California
Fremont, California
Hayward, California
Redlands, California
Reseda, California
Riverside, California
San Diego, California
San Leandro, California
Tarzana, California
Las Vegas, Nevada
Humble, Texas

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