Euphorbia caput-medusae

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Euphorbia caput-medusae
Euphorbia caput medusa PICT3430.JPG
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Tribe: Euphorbieae
Subtribe: Euphorbiinae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: E. caput-medusae
Binomial name
Euphorbia caput-medusae

Euphorbia caput-medusae ("Medusa's Head") is a plant of the genus Euphorbia that occurs in and around Cape Town, South Africa.

This succulent resembles the head of Medusa, with many serpent-like stems arising from a short, central caudex. It is still common around Cape Town where it grows in deep sand or rocky outcrops on the coast. It is particularly common in the Peninsula Shale Renosterveld vegetation of Signal Hill. They sometimes exceed 1 metre in diameter, partly buried in the ground, covered with numerous crowded branches.[1]

Euphorbia caput-medusae was introduced to the Netherlands around 1700 and was one of the early plants described by Linnaeus (Species Plantarum, 1753).[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Euphorbia caput-medusae (Medusa's head)". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 

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