This Euphorbia mammillaris plant, in Afrikaans sometimes referred to as the voetangel (foot sting), was photographed near Oudtshoorn at the end of September among spring flowers. It shows new growth at the stem tops of this well developed clump that must have been growing here for many years.
The young red spines are added when the stem tops grow after rain, but flowering arrives for this species normally only by autumn and through winter. In flower, the colouring may be something special with pink, purple, yellow and lemon green on show. Tiny green leaves appear on the new growth, but drop off quite soon. The stems achieve a diameter of about 5 cm (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; Bond and Goldblatt, 1984; www.cactus-art.biz).