Euphorbia avasmontana var. avasmontana grows in the south of Namibia and the north-west of South Africa in arid conditions. It is scattered over a large area on both sides of the Gariep (Orange) River from about the confluence with the Vaal River to the sea. It grows in cultivation in the Goegap Nature Reserve near Springbok and in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
Two earlier botanical names indicate something of the plant’s distribution area, viz. E. kalaharica and E. karasmontana. Two English common names divulge something about the plant’s appearance, viz. crown-of-thorns and slender candelabra euphorbia.
An Afrikaans common name says something about its use as a human tool: boesmangif (poison of the San). It is also called the avasnoors in Afrikaans, a name that defies translation (Van Jaarsveld, et al, 2006; www.cactus-art.biz).