Candelabra Plant, False Cactus, Dragon Bones, Elkhorn

Euphorbia lactea

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: lactea (lak-TAY-uh) (Info)


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


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

Light Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bright Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Time:





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 herbaceous stem cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Hayward, California

Santa Monica, California

Spring Valley, California

Valley Village, California

Bartow, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Orlando, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Elizabeth, Indiana

Kenner, Louisiana

Zanesville, Ohio

Vieques, Puerto Rico

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 11, 2015, Babeejaxx2 from Calgary
Canada wrote:

Hi green thumbers (:
I live in Canada and a friend of mine is growing the false cactus for 10 years in her house and is over 9 feet high. Has in area with vaulted ceiling and skylight so gets all the light it needs. She transplanted it once when first got it but has stayed in same pot all these years. She mists it during summer months cause it's very dry here.


On Feb 17, 2010, Whitepointer19 from Elizabeth, IN wrote:

I love this plant. I was given one a couple years ago and its grows like a weed. I am constantly pruining it and spreading it around to people. It likes a bit more water in the summer than I would have first thought and give it a good drenching weekly. I may sprtiz it a few times throughout the winter, but other than that leave it mostly to itself. Ive noticed that it is prone to wind and sun burn so make sure to ease it outside as I do come summer.Quite easy to propagate through cuttings. I lop a branch off where it meets the main stalk, sit it off to the side and let it callus over for a week, and stick it in well drained soil. Other than that makes a great asthetic plant and for me does well on minimal care. Happy Succulenting ! (Forgot to mention, sap & plant are poisonous, Ive heard m... read more


On Aug 19, 2009, DracoVolans from Crestline, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

There's a big, healthy beastie that looks a lot like this critter. I'm pretty sure it's a Candleabra Plant, but hers is a good three feet high, and I'm wondering if it gets taller. Hers has been there for a good ten years, though, so maybe it's at it's full growth. Now, it's just SPREADING and she has to prune it, soon. I took a couple of fingers (difficult without gloves, I'll tell you), and I'm hoping I can get them to root and grow. :)


On Apr 30, 2007, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I would call this a zone 10b plant. A single 32f night here killed a potted plant. There is an all white variety of this plant-sunburns easily i was told.


On Nov 17, 2005, cactus_lover from FSD
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:

Shrub to 2 cm tall with 3 or 4 angled dark green branches with paler band;rudimentary,caducous leaves.