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Euphorbia Species, Baseball Plant, Klipnoors, Sea Urchin

Euphorbia obesa

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: obesa (oh-BEE-suh) (Info)
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



6-12 in. (15-30 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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

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:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds


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

Camp Verde, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona(2 reports)

Queen Creek, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Brea, California

Canoga Park, California

Casa de Oro-Mount Helix, California

Castro Valley, California

Ceres, California

Clayton, California

Los Angeles, California

Mission Viejo, California

Norwalk, California

Perris, California

Ramona, California

Reseda, California

San Jose, California

Union City, California

Vallejo, California

Delray Beach, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Braselton, Georgia

Metairie, Louisiana

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Dallas, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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

Central Phoenix -- My record on Euphorbia obesa is only 50% survival. Microhabitat is everything. I planted two in 2012 within a foot of each other, but one was on a lower level of a raised bed and had more soil moisture and more shade -- it died. The one on the upper level survived. The upper level one has now become almost obscured under the branches of a dwarf Jerusalem sage, but it seems happy there.


On Sep 12, 2008, baiissatva from Dunedin,
New Zealand wrote:

I grow mine indoors on a half-shaded windowsill and its about 10 years old and pushing 20cm tall. Ive learnt my lesson about exposing many cacti to our insane UV levels without mitigation- sunburn sucks.

Im not sure if the brown streaks common on the ridges of this species is a feature of the plant, a product of exposure burn or mite damage- everyone seems to have a different story.

Mine flowers madly at almost any time of year but is obviously a batchelor male and thus no babies. I am very fond of it- its a crazy little tartan dinosaur demanding no special treatment.

I find all euphorbias more rot-proof than a lot of the true cacti. I fertilize just with whatever soluble junk I have to hand. Some claim they are frost tolerant but I dunno... read more


On Oct 16, 2006, promethean_spar from Union City, CA wrote:

I recently got one of these and picked out a female with a couple seed pods on top figuring I could get lucky and get several plants for the price of 1. Once the seed pod fell off (it didn't explode for me), I let it dry and opened it to get the three (large) seeds out. I planted them in a small pot in a baggie like one would do for cactus and placed them on a warm aquarium hood. In 3 days I had 100% germination. That gets an A+ on ease of propagation.

I'm keeping them indoors until spring because my version of 9b is extremely wet in the winter, though most C&S do okay under an eave where they stay dry. I'll experiment with some seedlings under the eave and in a cold frame next winter.

I like this plant because it is a wonderful example of convergent ev... read more


On Jul 15, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I tried to grow this plant outdoors in Thousand Oaks California (a very 'cold' zone 9b) but no luck.. However, it does great in Simi Valley (better soil), also 9b, and I have no problems with it here in Tarzana zone 9b-10a. Does rot easily if overwatered in winter, though. Slow growing plant, but eventually can get up to 1' tall, and sometimes will 'branch' or sucker creating very odd looking clusters of spheres. Some crested and monstrose forms out there that are great looking neoplastic appearing potted plants.


On Nov 19, 2004, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Strange how this has a common name of 'cactus', but is actually in the Euphorbia family.......hmmmm.
Still cool lookin' anyway.


On Mar 26, 2004, PotEmUp from Fremont, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is dioecious. The sex of the plant can be identified when they flower. The female has three protruding stigma on which the pollen grains stick, whereas the mail has a hairy like center covered with yellow pollen. Once pollinated the femaile plant produces fruit containing 3 seeds each. The plant elongates as it gets older, becoming a column rather than a sphere.


On Sep 3, 2003, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I had mine out in the direct sun and it looked like it was about to bloom, I saw a little of a yellow bloom then it was gone. This happened a couple of times. So I just bought it back inside. It started getting brown around the edges,close to the top of the pot. Usually I do not have my plants out in the sun because I am afraid of aphids or mealy bugs. So unfortunately they never bloom. But when I bought this it had just started blooming and I decided to let it get all the sun it could.


On May 26, 2003, lynxx wrote:

Preffers a warm position in full sun, otherwise it may lose its lovely rounded shape and even rot! Makes nice hybrids with E. valida and E. mellanoformis. Plants are either male or female, never both.