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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Euphorbia

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Malpighiales > Family: Euphorbiaceae

A huge genus of at least 1600 species, occurring worldwide. A total of 280 species are native to southern Africa, mainly succulents in arid regions. In addition, there are 11 species naturalised and a further 16 are cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Euphorbia acervata

Recorded from Zimbabwe.

Euphorbia aequoris


Euphorbia aeruginosa


Euphorbia aggregata


Euphorbia albanica


Euphorbia albertensis


Euphorbia albipollinifera


Euphorbia amarifontana


Euphorbia ambroseae

Recorded from Mozambique.


Euphorbia angrae


Euphorbia anoplia


Euphorbia arceuthobioides


Euphorbia arida


Euphorbia artifolia


Euphorbia aspericaulis


Euphorbia astrophora


Euphorbia atrispina


Euphorbia austro-occidentalis


Euphorbia avasmontana

Euphorbia baliola


Euphorbia barnardii


Euphorbia bayeri


Euphorbia baylissii

Recorded from Mozambique.


Euphorbia benthamii


Euphorbia bergii


Euphorbia bougheyi

Recorded from Mozambique.


Euphorbia brachiata


Euphorbia braunsii


Euphorbia bruynsii


Euphorbia bubalina


Euphorbia bupleurifolia


Euphorbia burmannii

Euphorbia caerulescens

Euphorbia caperonioides


Euphorbia caput-medusae

Euphorbia caterviflora


Euphorbia celata


Euphorbia chamaesycoides


Euphorbia chersina


Euphorbia cibdela


Euphorbia citrina

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Euphorbia clandestina


Euphorbia clava


Euphorbia clavarioides

Euphorbia clavigera


Euphorbia clivicola


Euphorbia colliculina


Euphorbia complexa


Euphorbia confinalis

Euphorbia confluens


Euphorbia cooperi (Bushveld candelabra tree)

Euphorbia corymbosa


Euphorbia crebrifolia

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Euphorbia crispa


Euphorbia crotonoides


Euphorbia cumulata


Euphorbia cuneata

Recorded from Mozambique.


Euphorbia curvirama


Euphorbia cyathophora

Euphorbia cylindrica


Euphorbia cyparissioides

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Euphorbia damarana


Euphorbia davyi


Euphorbia decepta


Euphorbia decidua

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia decussata


Euphorbia delicatissima

Recorded from Zimbabwe. See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia depauperata

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique. See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia dissitispina

See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia dregeana

Euphorbia dumosa


Euphorbia duseimata


Euphorbia ecklonii


Euphorbia eduardoi


Euphorbia enopla


Euphorbia enormis


Euphorbia ephedroides


Euphorbia epicyparissias


Euphorbia ericoides

Euphorbia ernestii


Euphorbia erythrina


Euphorbia esculenta


Euphorbia espinosa


Euphorbia eustacei

Euphorbia evansii


Euphorbia excelsa


Euphorbia exilis


Euphorbia eylesii

See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia fasciculata


Euphorbia ferox


Euphorbia filiflora


Euphorbia fimbriata


Euphorbia flanaganii

Euphorbia foliosa


Euphorbia fortissima

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia fortuita


Euphorbia franksiae


Euphorbia friedrichiae


Euphorbia fusca


Euphorbia gamkensis


Euphorbia gariepina


Euphorbia gatbergensis


Euphorbia genistoides


Euphorbia gentilis


Euphorbia giessii


Euphorbia glandularis


Euphorbia glanduligera


Euphorbia globosa


Euphorbia gorgonis


Euphorbia gossypina

Recorded from Zimbabwe. See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia gracillima

Recorded from Zimbabwe. Note that this species is for some reason absent from the African Plants Database.


Euphorbia grandialata


Euphorbia grandicornis

Recorded from Mozambique.


Euphorbia grandidens

Euphorbia graniticola

Recorded from Mozambique.

Euphorbia gregaria

Euphorbia griseola

Euphorbia groenewaldii


Euphorbia gueinzii


Euphorbia guerichiana


Euphorbia gummifera

Euphorbia hallii


Euphorbia halipedicola

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Euphorbia hamata

Euphorbia heptagona

Euphorbia herrei


Euphorbia hirta

Euphorbia hopetownensis


Euphorbia horrida


Euphorbia hottentota


Euphorbia hypogaea


Euphorbia inaequilatera (Smooth Creeping Milkweed)


Euphorbia inconstantia


Euphorbia inermis


Euphorbia ingens

Euphorbia inornata


Euphorbia insarmentosa


Euphorbia jansenvillensis


Euphorbia juglans


Euphorbia juttae


Euphorbia kaokoensis


Euphorbia karibensis

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia karroensis


Euphorbia keithii

Euphorbia kilwana

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia knobelii


Euphorbia knuthii


Euphorbia kraussiana


Euphorbia lavrani


Euphorbia ledienii


Euphorbia leistneri


Euphorbia lignosa


Euphorbia limpopoana

Euphorbia livida


Euphorbia lividiflora

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Euphorbia loricata

Euphorbia louwii


Euphorbia lumbricalis


Euphorbia lupatensis

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Euphorbia lydenburgensis


Euphorbia maleolens


Euphorbia malevola

Recorded from Zimbabwe.

Euphorbia mammillaris


Euphorbia marlothiana


Euphorbia matabelensis

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Euphorbia mauritanica (Beesmelkbos, Geelmelkbos)


Euphorbia melanohydrata


Euphorbia meloformis


Euphorbia memoralis

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia micracantha


Euphorbia milii

Recorded from Zimbabwe.

Euphorbia mira


Euphorbia mixta


Euphorbia monteiri

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia monteiroi


Euphorbia mossambicensis


Euphorbia muirii


Euphorbia multiceps

Euphorbia multifida


Euphorbia multifolia


Euphorbia mundii


Euphorbia muraltioides


Euphorbia muricata


Euphorbia namibensis


Euphorbia namuskluftensis


Euphorbia natalensis


Euphorbia neopolycnemoides

Euphorbia nesemannii


Euphorbia oatesii

Euphorbia obesa

Euphorbia ornithopus


Euphorbia otjipembana


Euphorbia oxystegia


Euphorbia pedemontana


Euphorbia pentagona


Euphorbia pentops


Euphorbia perangusta


Euphorbia pergracilis


Euphorbia perpera


Euphorbia persistentifolia

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia pfeilii

Euphorbia phylloclada


Euphorbia pillansii


Euphorbia planiceps


Euphorbia platycephala

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia plenispina

Recorded from Mozambique.


Euphorbia polycephala


Euphorbia polygona

Euphorbia pseudocactus


Euphorbia pseudoduseimata


Euphorbia pseudoglobosa

Euphorbia pseudotuberosa


Euphorbia pubescens


Euphorbia pubiglans


Euphorbia pugniformis


Euphorbia pulvinata

Euphorbia quadrata


Euphorbia ramiglans


Euphorbia rectirama


Euphorbia restituta


Euphorbia restricta


Euphorbia rhombifolia

Euphorbia rowlandii


Euphorbia rubriflora


Euphorbia rudis


Euphorbia rudolfii


Euphorbia rugosiflora

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia ruscifolia


Euphorbia sarcostemmatoides


Euphorbia schimperiana

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia schinzii

Euphorbia schoenlandii

Euphorbia schlechteri

Recorded from Mozambique.


Euphorbia sclerophylla


Euphorbia sekukuniensis

Euphorbia silenifolia


Euphorbia spartaria


Euphorbia spicata


Euphorbia spinea


Euphorbia spissiflora


Euphorbia squarrosa


Euphorbia stapelioides


Euphorbia stellata


Euphorbia stellispina


Euphorbia stolonifera


Euphorbia striata

Euphorbia subsalsa


Euphorbia suffulta


Euphorbia suppressa


Euphorbia susannae


Euphorbia systyloides


Euphorbia tenax


Euphorbia tetragona

Euphorbia tettensis

Euphorbia tirucalli (Rubber-hedge euphorbia)

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Euphorbia tortirama


Euphorbia tortistyla

Recorded from Zimbabwe. See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Euphorbia transvaalensis


Euphorbia triangularis

Euphorbia trichadenia

Recorded from Zimbabwe.

Euphorbia tridentata


Euphorbia tuberculata


Euphorbia tuberculatoides


Euphorbia tuberosa


Euphorbia tubiglans


Euphorbia tugelensis


Euphorbia umfoloziensis


Euphorbia vaalputsiana


Euphorbia vandermerwei


Euphorbia venenata


Euphorbia venteri


Euphorbia verruculosa


Euphorbia versicolores


Euphorbia virosa


Euphorbia volkmanniae


Euphorbia waterbergensis


Euphorbia wilmaniae


Euphorbia wildii

Recorded from Zimbabwe.

Euphorbia woodii


Euphorbia x bothae


Euphorbia zambesiana


Euphorbia zoutpansbergensis


Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Euphorbia cyathophora


Euphorbia helioscopia


Euphorbia heterophylla (Mexican fire plant)

Native from southern USA to Argentina.

Euphorbia indica


Euphorbia lathyris (Caper spurge)

Native to the Mediterranean.


Euphorbia marginata (Snow-on-the-mountain)

Native to the USA.


Euphorbia peplus (Petty spurge)

Native from Europe to western Asia.

Euphorbia prostrata

Euphorbia pulcherrima (Poinsettia)

Native to Central America.

Euphorbia serpens

Euphorbia serrata


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Euphorbia alcicornis


Euphorbia characias

Native to the eastern Mediterranean.


Euphorbia cotinifolia

Native to Central America.


Euphorbia cyathophora

Native to Mexico.


Euphorbia dendroides

Native to the Mediterranean.


Euphorbia desmondii

Native to tropical Africa.


Euphorbia fulgens

Native to Mexico.


Euphorbia leucocephala

Native to Central America.

Euphorbia milii (Crown-of-thorns)

Native to Madagascar.

Euphorbia myrsinites

Native from Europe to southwestern Asia.


Euphorbia nutans

[= Chamaesyce nutans]

Native to the USA.


Euphorbia obtusifolia

Native to the Canary Islands.


Euphorbia platyphyllos

Native to Europe.


Euphorbia purpurea

Native to the eastern USA.


Euphorbia splendens

Native to Madagascar.


Euphorbia stenoclada

Native to Madagascar.


Euphorbia xanti

Native to California.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.