Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pencil Tree, Milkbush, Milk Bush, Finger Tree, Sticks of Fire
Euphorbia tirucalli 'Rosea'

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: tirucalli (tee-roo-KAL-ee) (Info)
Cultivar: Rosea
Additional cultivar information: (aka Firesticks)

Synonym:Euphorbia rhipsaloides
Synonym:Euphorbia viminalis

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

30 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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

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:
Full Sun

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
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:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By EveM
Thumbnail #1 of Euphorbia tirucalli by EveM

By palmbob
Thumbnail #2 of Euphorbia tirucalli by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #3 of Euphorbia tirucalli by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #4 of Euphorbia tirucalli by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #5 of Euphorbia tirucalli by palmbob

By hanna1
Thumbnail #6 of Euphorbia tirucalli by hanna1

By IslandJim
Thumbnail #7 of Euphorbia tirucalli by IslandJim

There are a total of 37 photos.
Click here to view them all!


6 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral nrwich On Oct 11, 2014, nrwich from Peoria, AZ wrote:

I'm trying to shape my Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire'. Where do I clip the plant at?

Negative nativelyeager 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

Positive imagerep 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.

Neutral foxsfun On Aug 9, 2011, foxsfun from Huntington Beach, CA wrote:

The plant was green with red tips, it has now turned white/cream colored. Our only guess is from too much water. Not sure if losing it.

Positive BayAreaTropics 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 resistant ornamental you could plant.
UPDATE: Its now almost 2015 and even though I haven't aged a day,Firesticks has and well. About 4' tall and as wide at its widest,this time of year is the best for color. Right around midsummer you wonder why you planted it with the drab pale pink- and winter worn segments. Then,it remakes it self in time for the Holidays.

Positive hanna1 On Feb 1, 2005, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Bright light/ Sun. to 6' or taller. Hardy to 32F. Water thoroughly when dry. considered rare red form of Pencil Cactus. Color is intense in cold winter months. Protect from frost.

Positive palmbob On Mar 9, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) 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.

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.

Positive EveM On Feb 15, 2003, EveM from Scottsdale, AZ wrote:

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
Chandler, Arizona
Glendale, Arizona
Goodyear, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Brentwood, California
Carlsbad, California
Castro Valley, California
Chula Vista, California
Coalinga, California
El Cajon, California
Hayward, California
Huntington Beach, California
Lakewood, California
Los Angeles, California
Mission Viejo, California
Reseda, California
San Bernardino, California
San Francisco, California
San Lorenzo, California
Solana Beach, California
Somis, California
Spring Valley, California (2 reports)
Walnut, California
Boca Raton, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Ormond Beach, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Venice, Florida
Lucedale, Mississippi
Las Vegas, Nevada
Cleveland, Ohio
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Andrews, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Big Spring, Texas
Nacogdoches, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Victoria, Texas

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America