Euphorbia tirucalli, commonly known as pencil cactus, is a shrub-like succulent native to South Africa. It has naturalized throughout the African continent and the Arabian peninsula, preferring hot, dry areas.
Euphorbia tirucalli Firesticks is so named for the brilliant red and pink hues the branches become when exposed to high light and direct sun during the cooler months of the year. In bright indirect light branches are a lovely mixture of light green and yellow. Small leaves the same color of the stems appear intermittently and tiny, unusual clusters of flowers appear along stem tips and nodes in winter. Euphorbia tirucalli likes to dry out slightly between watering and benefits from light feeding with a half-strength fertilizer during the spring and summer months.
This succulent’s shrubby, tree-like form makes it a particularly striking specimen in a dish garden or succulent terrarium planting. Combined with blue- toned, spiny, or fuzzy-leaved succulents, it makes for a beautiful contrasting assortment of texture and color.
Be careful when pruning and be sure to wear gloves. Euphorbia tirucalli has milky, latex-like sap which can be an acute skin irritant for some people.
At the Palm Room we currently have Firesticks in both 6 inch and 4 inch pots!