On Dec 17, 2012, nativelyeager from Brooksville, FL wrote:
In the FL Keys (where I lived for over 30 years until recently, and where I worked on conservation lands), 'pencil cactus', as we called it, when planted near a natural area, will root and 'take off' from just tiny stray pieces
On Jul 11, 2012, imagerep from Westlake Village, CA wrote:
I get more positive comments from people on this plant than most others. Easy to propagate by just snipping and replanting however the new cutting does need good moisture (do not allow to dry out) to take root. After that it's very hard to kill this plant, drought tolerant, unless a hard freeze occurs for more than overnight. BE CAREFUL handling by NOT touching your eyes after touching this plant! Intense burning of eyes will occur and I've heard of victims having to go to the hospital for this condition. As stated, winter and early spring in full sun will give an amazing deep red color and in summer will be light orange/green.
On Jan 22, 2006, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:
Sometimes slow to get going in ground.Then, after acclimated they grow more robustly.Great accent plant and i imagine a large number of them in a rock garden would be a traffic stopper.And not as much worry as regular pencil tree from the sap since you most likely won't be pruning the compact globular form of Firestick's. A bit more tender to cold also. I doubt it could be a 9a or 9b for very long. A 25 for sure would kill it.
EDIT: Since i wrote that we have had the freeze of Jan 07 and the chill rain of 08. The freeze had less damage at 30f then the much more damage from rotting limbs in the cold,rainy period of mid winter 08. It has comeback since then from a loss of over 50% to make a nice looking,narrower shrub.Now in its fifth or six summer outdoors in Hayward it was moved from a large planter to in ground. Surprised to see 'Firesticks' had such a thick taproot. Ironic that 'Firesticks" might be the best drought and fire resistent ornamental you could plant.
On Mar 9, 2004, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
Great plant for Southern California... doesn't seem to grow anywhere near as large as the non red form- low growing shrub up to maximum of 4-6' tall. This plant is one of the most delicate of the Euphorbias in terms of releasing its gooey toxic sap. Just brushing against this species will usually break off a stem and it will ooze. I have gotten so much sap on me from moving these plants, yet never gotten any irritation (except for those few times I rubbed my eyes- ouch!!)- very individual reaction to Euphorbia saps.. some sensitive, some not. This plant HAS to be grown in full sun or it will often yellow or green up on you, so if you want the good color- sun. Cold makes it even redder. In spring the foliage comes out temporarily- small, soft, succulent red leaves.
Plant also called Firesticks. Beautiful red pencils. Native of South Africa. Allow to dry between waterings.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Millbrook, Alabama Ozark, Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama Glendale, Arizona Goodyear, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona Picture Rocks, Arizona Sun Lakes, Arizona Brentwood, California Carlsbad, California Castro Valley, California Chula Vista, California Coalinga, California El Cajon, California Hayward, California Huntington Beach, California La Presa, California (2 reports) Lakewood, California Los Angeles, California Mission Viejo, California Muscoy, California Reseda, California San Francisco, California San Lorenzo, California Solana Beach, California Somis, California Walnut, California Boca Del Mar, Florida Cape Coral, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Melbourne Beach, Florida Oldsmar, Florida Ormond Beach, Florida Port Saint Lucie, Florida South Daytona, Florida South Venice, Florida St Petersburg, Florida Tampa, Florida Lucedale, Mississippi Las Vegas, Nevada Cleveland, Ohio Bayamon, Puerto Rico Appleby, Texas Arlington, Texas Big Spring, Texas Richmond, Texas San Antonio, Texas Victoria, Texas