Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cat Tails Euphorbia
Euphorbia leucadendron

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: leucadendron (lew-kuh-DEN-dron) (Info)

Synonym:Euphorbia alluaudii

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Cactus and Succulents

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
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)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 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
Sun to Partial Shade

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

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

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


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

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

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Happenstance
Thumbnail #1 of Euphorbia leucadendron by Happenstance

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By palmbob
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By RWhiz
Thumbnail #4 of Euphorbia leucadendron by RWhiz

By palmbob
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There are a total of 17 photos.
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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive ogrejelly On Jun 26, 2010, ogrejelly from Gilbert, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

One thing that is not mentioned here is that this plant has a translucence to it when the sun shines on it it goes right through it so that you can almost see into the plant. Pretty unique look and the photo I posted is how it looks in the dead of winter without any leaves or flowers. Very nice 'young' green color and it took two frosts without being covered so it holds up here pretty well in the Phoenix area.

Positive vossner On May 30, 2008, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

similar to a pencil cactus, but branches are slightly thicker. very architectural

Positive palmbob On Aug 27, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Got this at a home depot, and just planted it in the ground- no special care.. has gotten down to about 25F and no damage whatsoever. Has grown quite fast and is now a shrub about 4' across and 3.5' tall... keeps growing out further and further, but isn't spreading fast from the ground level... stems are just arching out more... incredibly ornamental plant... just light green smooth stems in a bunch.. very neat and tidy, too. In summers, arms tipped with lots of small, arching green leaves about 1cm long at the most. Does best in full sun. In shade or part sun plant gets very leggy and floppy, its arms falling on the surrounding vegetation.

Eventually, at least in Madagascar where this species is from, this plant gets to be a tree with a large woody stem and all the 'arms' above that point. I haven't seen it get that large or even form a stem... yet. Trees get up to 25+' tall.

Barely a zone 9b plant... temps down to 28F not much of a problem, but down to 25F does severe damage, and sometimes can kill plant. TEmps down to 22F at my new home completely wiped out my collection of these plants... oh well.

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

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:

Gilbert, Arizona
Mission Viejo, California
Reseda, California
Spring Valley, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Orlando, Florida
Richmond, Texas

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