Euphorbia obesa

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Euphorbia obesa
Euphorbia obesa 2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: E. obesa
Binomial name
Euphorbia obesa
Hook.

Euphorbia obesa is a subtropical succulent species of Euphorbia genus. It comes from South Africa, especially in the Cape Province.

Male flowers
Female flowers

The plant is dioecious, which means that a subject has only male or female flowers.

In the wild, it is endangered because of over-collection and poaching, because of its slow growth, and the fact that the pod contains only 2 to 3 seeds. However, it is widely cultivated in botanical gardens.

Description[edit]

Euphorbia obesa resembles a ball, thornless and decorative. It is commonly known as 'baseball plant' due to its shape. Its diameter is between 6 cm and 15 cm depending on its age. Young Euphorbia obesa's are spherical, but become cylindrical with age. They contain water reservoirs for periods of drought.

Close look of a ridge

It almost always shows 8 ridges adorned with small deep gibbosity regularly planted on the edges. It is green with horizontal lighter or darker stripes. In the wild, and with exposure to direct sunlight, it shows red and purple areas.

The small flowers are insignificant in apex. In fact, like all Euphorbia, flowers are called cyathia.

As in all Euphorbia species, the latex is toxic.

Living in similar conditions on two different continents, Euphorbia obesa presents a form of convergence with Astrophytum asterias which is a cactus from Mexico.

External links[edit]