Euphorbia tirucalli is normally very green. The variation depicted here, or rather this cultivar of the rubber-hedge euphorbia, or in Afrikaans kraalnaboom (pen, corral or kraal euphorbia), is sought after by gardeners for its striking coral coloured leaf tips. There exists an even deeper red-coloured cultivar of the plant in international horticulture.
This plant grows easily, often reaching a height of 5 m (although in favourable conditions it may double that). This plant should be treated with care, for the person more than the plant! Avoid the milky latex from getting into contact with the eyes or ingesting any of it, as this could cause severe discomfort or harm!
For this reason some people will not plant it, while others still fence gardens or kraals to house livestock at night. If all poisonous plants are to be avoided, gardening options will be significantly reduced. Rather take care of small children and teach them about garden risks early, as with the swimming pool.
This rubber-hedge euphorbia was photographed in the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in Gauteng. The landmark waterfall, annually admired by thousands, is visible in the background. This is where the famous, much photographed pair of Verreaux's eagles live and produce their occasional chicks.
(Also see the Plant Record on this plant elsewhere on this Site.)