Euphorbia Species, Medusa's Head

Euphorbia flanaganii

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: flanaganii (flan-uh-GAN-ee-eye) (Info)


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 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:

Can be grown as an annual


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

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:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

College, Alaska

Chandler, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

COARSEGOLD, California

Clayton, California

Clovis, California

Fairfield, California

Felton, California

Long Beach, California

Nipomo, California

Perris, California

Reseda, California

Riverside, California

Simi Valley, California

Spring Valley, California

Stockton, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

Yosemite Lakes, California

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Houston, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 22, 2017, RaeAlaska from College, AK wrote:

I've had a Medusa's Head for 9 months now and it was doing great. I noticed a week ago, one arm (faced away from light) was turning a yellowish brown color. All the other arms look healthy and green. Can anyone shed some light on what's happening with it? Thanks!


On Mar 10, 2015, mrbetelman from Felton, CA wrote:

I have a larger Medusa head which I have had for many years. I have grown several "babies" off of the mother, but suddenly the larger plant seems to be very unhappy. The arms are turning yellow, withering and falling off. It sits in close proximity to and gets the same treatment as another plant which is doing beautifully. Can anyone offer a suggestion?


On Apr 7, 2013, zelisheva from jerusalem,
Israel wrote:

It looks great, growing well in full sun in pot in my zone 10 Israel desert garden. But the chartreuse blooms are gone, will it rebloom?? Gardening here sure is a lot different from gardening in New York!!


On Dec 26, 2009, JonasKragebaer from martofte,
Denmark (Zone 7b) wrote:

my dad medusa head is as good as dead but i managed to save a few "hairs" or branches, i stuck them in the ground and they have grown roots now. i was wondering how a plant grown from a branch will look like, is it gonna look exactly like a from grown from seed or is it gonna look different?


On Apr 25, 2005, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a really easy to grow plant despite it's exotic look... handles southern California outdoor temps well and grows quite quickly into a nice, caudiciform medusa head plant. Great for pots as well as putting in the ground. Handles full sun, as well as performing pretty well as a house plant (though needs bright light, and still, it will get quite 'leggy'). And the great thing about it is it's cheap and easy to find (nearly all garden outlet stores will have this plant, now and then, at least). Easy to handle and 'branches' pretty bendable and sturdy, so exposure to sap not that big a deal. Still, avoid breaking 'arms' and then rubbing sap in your eyes, or you will be sorry.

Noticed this plant mysteriously showing up in the planter boxes where it didn't exist before... read more


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.