This smallish Euphorbia arceuthobioides plant was found in April near Van Wyksdorp. Its purplish stem colour, contrasting strongly against the green specimens also shown in this Album, indicates what heat and drought stress a plant faces after a long and trying off-season. Fortunately the rain is likely to return shortly, allowing for a new growth cycle to commence.
Survival is supported by the underground tuberous root where stored supplies can be accessed for use at times like this. Should the rain not come, last season’s seeds may perform to continue the line, the dynasty. If both strategies fail, there may still be some growth seasons left in the resilient young plant to produce seed later (JSTOR; iSpot).