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Euphorbia Species, Hercules Club, Canary Island Spurge

Euphorbia canariensis

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: canariensis (kuh-nair-ee-EN-sis) (Info)
Synonym:Euphorbia tribuloides
Synonym:Tithymalus canariensis
Synonym:Torfosidis canariensis
View this plant in a garden


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun





Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

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

Bloom Color:

Scarlet (dark red)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

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 seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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

Tucson, Arizona

Encino, California

Hayward, California

Reseda, California

Spring Valley, California

Monroe, Washington

Shoreline, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 4, 2013, CyrixLord from Monroe, WA wrote:

This plant came from the middle of a cutting that was about 2 feet tall. I keep it outside in the summer and bring it inside before the frost hits but I imagine it would do 'ok' in the winter. I will cut a piece off and plant it next year and see if it survives a winter here in Washington state. The plant is low maintenance and happy though I haven't seen it bloom since I got it several years ago. It grows 2-3 inch flat, thin leaves on the top foot of the plant that have a small vestigial 'thorn' on the end of each green leaf. The leaves eventually die and re-grow with the seasons. its a fun plant and I like it a lot more than a cactus since if you get 'pricked' by this guy it seems more like a scrape instead of the feeling of being pricked with thorns broken off in your finger


On Jan 26, 2006, Pinguicula from Yelm, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I was given a Euphorbia canariensis a week ago and so far I love this plant! It was grown very poorly by the previous owner and I'm shocked it survived. Also, though everyone has warned me about Euphorbia sap I've never had any reaction to either the sap or the spines. And believe me, I got it all over my hands while trimming rot!


On Sep 27, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

As cold tolerant as any "cactus" like Euphorbia. I have one in a container,the only others i have seen were in ground plantings. A little twist.
EDIT 2007: I was right.Hercules club sailed through the big 07 freeze with not a spot or mark on any limb. It also in part shade, has a very clean,smooth green surface. Moves up on my favorite Euphorbia's list!


On Aug 17, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Easy to grow clumper, native to the Canary Islands. This is one of the most attractive and 'neat' columnar Euphorbias, and makes a striking, beautiful landscape plant. It is quite spiny, but its spines are perfectly regular rows along the four corners of the columns, and are fairly short- easy to avoid with care, or gloves. It is a moderately fast grower, and 1 gal pots will quickly become large landscape masterpieces in just 3-5 years. Only downside is during SAnta Ana high winds, the columns often smash into each other, causing permanent scarring... best to plant in such a location where winds are not a big issue.