Euphorbia marlothiana

In the wild, the lateral branches trail on the ground, sometimes taking root. Where this happens, the stem begins to thicken and gradually develops a central boss reminding one of  Medusa's head as does E. caput-medusae. These species are rewarding to grown as are related E. bolusii, E. bergerii and E. esculenta. They tolerate abundant summer watering and a winter place in the light at temperatures above 10°C. They easily propagated from cuttings taken from lateral branches. The 'hesd' shape takes a long time to form.


Euphorbia milii Desm

Euphorbia milii is a well-known shrubby euphorbia from Malagasy. The shrubby species have thinner branches with spines and the thin non-succulent leaves are shed early in winter. In cultivation, E. milii is known as E. splendens or under a popular name 'crown of thorns' or 'Christ's crown'. Older authors (mainly Ursch and Leandri) described many 'species' from the central range of mountains of Malaysia, which, although certainly interesting, are hardly more than forms with differently shaped and coloured bracts. Cultivation is very easy, and the species are often found on amateur-growers' window-sills. An acid compost is recommended, and the plants tolerate liberal watering with additional feed when in leaf. Watering is also necessary in winter if the plants are kept in a warm place.

Source from: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cacti & Other Succulents

Frailea castanea

Frailea castanea is a miniature plant, barely 3 - 4 cm high with a red-brown to black epidermis and minute spines of black colouration. The flowers are yellow. This cactus is native to the border regions of Brazil and Paraguay, frequenting grassy, flat ground where it lives sunk in the soil. The genus Frailea comprises some 35, mostly miniature species with relatively large, helmet-shaped seeds, drifting in water and spreading over the flat, grassy savannas in summer floods. Pollination is interesting: it often takes place without the buds opening, that is by cleistogamy. The grains mature before the full development of petals, and since they are in direct contact with the stigma, they germinate and fertilize the eggs in the ovary when the flower is in the bud stage. In a certain number of flowers, the maturing of pollen grains is delayed, and the flowers are open normally. This happens mostly in sunny, warm weather, and it is probable that in the genus Frailea, cleistogamy originated as an ecological protection fromrain which would prevent pollination. The plants flower in summer which is characterized by daily rainfall.

Source from: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cacti & Other Succulents

Gasteria prolifera

The white-spotted leaves form numerous clumps each arranged in two rows and fast growing. G. prolifera is one of the easiest species to grow, and its propagation is simple. It is one of the few species where propagation is possible from leaf cuttings, taking root in warm and slightly humid conditions. Because they are undemanding and tolerant to shading, all the gasterias, particularly G. verrucosa, G. marmorata, G. nigricans, and G. maculata are species suitable for growing in the home.

Source from: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cacti & Other Succulents

Kalanchoe tomentosa

Baker Kalanchhoe tomentosa comes from the central mountian ranges of Malagasy, where its low clump-forming shrubs are found on stony and rocky slopes and cliffs. The margins of the oval leaves become marked with dark brown spots in the sun, and are covered with fine felted hairs of whitish colour. K. tomentosa is easily propagated from stem cuttings or detached leaves. Shaping the shrubs by careful pruning may later be necessary.

Source from: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cacti & Other Succulents
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