Notices for Users of the Albums

1. New Albums and some changes


The latest genera Albums added to the Operation Wildflower Site are the ones on Metalasia, Brabejum and Bauhinia. This means that photos and stories of plants belonging to these genera already on the Site have been moved from the more general Albums called Shrubs and Trees into their own new Albums under Genera. 


There is a genus Album in every case where enough material has been accumulated to warrant a stand-alone grouping of photos and stories. There are now more than 160 such Albums on genera of South African plants. The biggest ones (most photos) belong to the genera Crassula, Euphorbia, Pelargonium and Aloe. Keep watching, more will be added! If there is no genus Album yet on the plant you are looking for, check under Types or the Search Box.


In order to access all items on a plant of interest, the Search Box should be used, entering the botanical name of the plant. Most photos and stories on a particular plant are likely to be posted under Genera, (or if there are only few of them, in the conglomerate categories under Types). Habitat, Regions or Parks and Gardens may also contain some material on a species searched for, showing in the list generated when using the Search Box. The latest Parks and Gardens Album is the one on the Quiver Tree Forest.


2. Want to talk about an Album Item?


There is a new way of communicating with the Editor of this Site regarding any of the Album Items.
Comments, questions, corrections, information and suggestions can be put to the Editor by using the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please ensure that the Album Item concerned is clearly identified. Type its exact title as well as the Album Name in the Subject Line of your email. Please also state your name.


Similarly, communication regarding the functioning or technical aspects of the Site can be directed to the Webmaster at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Euphorbia cooperi


Botanical name

Euphorbia cooperi

Other names

Lesser candelabra tree; spurge; Transvaalse kandelaarnaboom (Afrikaans)




A medium sized, spiny, succulent tree with an attractively rounded crown, achieves a height of over 7 m

Description of stem

Trunk is straight, erect and loses all lower branches in a continual process below the compact crown over time; the trunk is grey to dark grey or brown with a gnarled appearance where irregularly spaced old leaf scars (or holes) persist; the branchlets are green or yellow-green and consist of distinctly segmented sections, up to 15 cm in length , in younger plants, smaller and rounder in older plants; the heart-shaped or sometimes triangular sections form attractive upwardly curved, leafless branches; every section has four to six longitudinal lobes with pairs of spines of about 5 mm along the outer ridges that have continuous, narrow and dark spine shields running along them

Description of leaves

Very small, inconspcuous leaves that fall early are sometimes seen on the branch ridges among the spines

Description of flowers

Typical euphorbia type yellow-green cyathia are grouped in threes on the ridges of the terminal branchlet segment, appearing in spring; the central cyathium in each group is male, the other two female

Desciption of seed/fruit

Maroon, triangular, threelobed capsules adorn the top branchlet ridges in spring and summer

Description of roots



The varieties cooperi, calidicola and ussanquensis have been described; only the first one occurs in South Africa, the others are found to the north in other African countries

Propagation and cultivation

Grown from stem cuttings


Drought resistant


Garden subject, e.g. for xeriscaping, although sometimes avoided by gardeners with children due to the danger of the latex; the latex is used as a fish poison that allows for the paralysed fish to be caught by hand; the fruits are eaten by birds

Ecological rarity


Pests and diseases



The latex is said to be one of the most poisonous varieties among the euphorbias to both humans and animals; care should be taken when working with this plant not to ingest any of the latex, to avoid it to come into contact with the eye or even have skin contact as severe irritation and blisters may ensue; the poison, euphorbon, a protein, contained in the latex may cause human death if ingested, as the stomach wall and intestines may be inflamed and even perforated; it may also cause (temporary?) blindness; cortisone cream or Prednisone tablets have been mentioned relating to treatment; a traditional medicine antidote from E. hirta (used in Malawi) is unconfirmed as to its value (Info:


Bushveld and granite outcrops

Distribution (SA provinces)

Kwazulu-Natal; Mpumalanga; Limpopo; Gauteng; North West


South Africa; Zimbabwe; Swaziland; Zambia; Mozambique; Botswana; Tanzania; Malawi


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