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 Tritoniopsis, Melianthus and Metalasia. 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 Bulbs and Shrubs 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 Regions Album is the one on the Langkloof. A new Parks and Gardens Album for the Caledon Wildflower Garden has also been created from existing material.


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 excelsa

Botanical name

Euphorbia excelsa

Other names

Olifants River euphorbia; olifantsriviernaboom (Afrikaans)




A spiny, succulent tree of occasionally up to 10 m in height with a compact rounded crown of stem tips

Description of stem

Vertical ridges occur on the single erect stem, indicating where the branches had fallen; whitish bark longitudinally fissured on the main stem among the young stem branches; the young stems are quadrangular, curving up in a regular candelabrum fashion, yellow-green to blue-green, smooth surfaces with sharp spines on the four ridges; they emerge in a whorl or regular ring at regular intervals along the stem; they are narrowed at regular intervals corresponding with the growth season length added

Description of leaves

Absent as the rudimentary leaves fall early

Description of flowers

Greenish-yellow occurring in summer into autumn; the four bracts on the cyme stalk are distinctive of this species as the other tree euphorbia species have only two

Desciption of seed/fruit

Three-lobed capsule from the end of summer and in autumn

Description of roots




Propagation and cultivation



Drought resistant


Occasional garden plant

Ecological rarity

Not threatened in its habitat, although only occurring in a limited area

Pests and diseases





Dry rocky slopes in summer rainfall areas

Distribution (SA provinces)



South Africa


Euphorbia excelsa: Photographed by Johannes Vogel

E. excelsa fruit; Photographed by Johannes Vogel

E. excelsa lower stem; Photographed by Johannes Vogel



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