+25 types of Euphorbia: herbs, trees and shrubs

The genus of the Euphorbia is very varied: we find herbs, as well as succulents, trees and shrubs. Herbaceous plants don’t have many uses in landscaping. These plants contain latex that, when in contact with the skin causes itching, and if ingested we would have more serious problems, such as cramps, delirium or collapse, hence the others are grown much more, since they are also more decorative.

Therefore, when we want to plant some euphorbia, it is highly recommended to choose the right species. And it is that herbs are not only cultivated little, but in general they are plants that generally live a few months. The rest, however, will decorate the garden, patio or terrace for a longer time. So that, we are going to see the best types of Euphorbia to have in the ground or in a pot.


There are several species of Euphorbia that reach impressive heights. They are highly appreciated in gardens, although sometimes they are also grown in pots:

Euphorbia candelabrum

The Euphorbia candelabrum is a succulent tree

Image – Wikimedia / Frank Vincentz

La Euphorbia candelabrum is a succulent tree endemic to the Horn of Africa that it reaches a maximum height of 20 meters, although the normal thing is that it does not exceed 10 meters. It can live with little water, but it is important that the soil has excellent drainage.

Euphorbia Tiruculli.

The finger tree is a succulent tree

Image – Wikimedia / Frank Vincentz

La Euphorbia Tiruculli. it is a tree endemic to the dry regions of Africa and India. It is known as the finger tree, antenna or skeleton, and grows between 12 and 15 meters tall developing cylindrical and succulent stems. It is easy to care for, as it requires little watering and a sunny exposure.

Euphorbia trigona

View of the Euphorbia trigona

Image – Wikimedia / Ies

La Euphorbia trigona It is a species of tree native to Africa known as the African milk tree, or cathedral cactus although it has nothing to do with cacti. It grows at a slow rate, so it can be grown in pots for years. It can reach 10 meters in height.

Euphorbia ingens

The Euphorbia ingens is a tree

Image – Wikimedia / JMK

La Euphorbia ingens It is an endemic tree to southern Africa, with a candelabrum-shaped crown formed by succulent stems. It is a beautiful plant, highly recommended for rockery and dry gardens, which It reaches a height of more or less 15 meters.


Among the bush euphoria, we find a great variety. These are the most recommended:

Euphorbia aphylla

The Euphorbia aphylla is a shrub

Image – Wikimedia / Olo72

La Euphorbia aphylla is an endemic species of the Canary Islands that develops succulent stems up to 2,5 meters tall. It has no leaves, but is otherwise a very drought-resistant plant.

Euphorbia balsamifera

Euphorbia balsamifera, a shrub

Image – Wikimedia / Frank Vincentz

La Euphorbia balsamifera It is a bush known as sweet tabaiba that grows in the Canary Islands, the Sahara and reaches Arabia. Reaches an approximate height of 1,5 meters, and branches from the bottom of the stem. It is the natural plant symbol of the island of Lanzarote, according to a law of the Government of the Canary Islands.

Euphorbia characias

The Euphorbia characias is a small shrub

Image – Flickr / Eric Hunt

La Euphorbia characias, or Mediterranean euphorbia, is a perennial shrubby plant, native to the Mediterranean region. It grows more or less up to a meter in height, and it has the peculiarity that it does not smell too good. It can be had in a garden for plants that want little watering.

euphorbia enopla

The Euphorbia enopla is a small shrub

Image – Wikimedia / Frank Vincentz

La euphorbia enopla it is a species of succulent and thorny shrub endemic to South Africa. It branches a lot and from the base, and its stems are cylindrical. Grows up to 90 centimeters tall, and it is very interesting since its spines are of a beautiful red color.

Euphorbia lactea

Euphorbia lactea is an arboreal succulent

Image – Wikimedia / Arria Belli

La Euphorbia lactea is a shrub native to tropical Asia that grows up to 5 meters high. The crown is made up of stems 3-5 centimeters in diameter, and with short spines on their crests. It is often grafted, especially the cultivar Euphorbia lactea subsp. crystal.

Euphorbia milii

The Euphorbia milii is a thorny shrub

Image – Wikimedia / Frank Vincentz

La Euphorbia milii, known as the crown of Christ, is a shrub native to Madagascar. It reaches a height of 2 meters, and has thorny stems at the end of which sprout green deciduous leaves, as well as flowers, which are red, white, pink or orange. The latter appear in spring.

Euphorbia pulcherrima

The poinsettia is a deciduous shrub

La Euphorbia pulcherrima It is a deciduous shrub native to Mexico and Central America known as the poinsettia, poinsettia, or Christmas flower. Reaches a height of 4 meters, with ovate green leaves. It blooms towards the end of the year and until spring, producing inflorescences composed of bracts (modified leaves) of red, yellow or pink color. It is very sensitive to cold.

Euphorbia regis-jubae

The Euphorbia regis-jubae is a Canarian shrub

Image – Wikimedia / Frank Vincentz

La Euphorbia regis-jubae is a succulent shrub native to the Canary Islands and Africa that grows up to 2 meters high. It is a highly branched plant, which has long, thin green leaves. It is interesting to have in a pot in warm climates.

Euphorbia resinifera

The Euphorbia resinifera is a succulent plant

Image – Wikimedia / Frank Vincentz

La Euphorbia resinifera it is a succulent species native to Morocco. Reaches 60 centimeters in height, and it has stems that, although they do not usually branch, are very numerous and grow very close together, something that gives the plant a curious appearance. It can withstand occasional and weak frosts.


Herbaceous euphorbias are usually annual plants (although there are exceptions), of low height. They are not very commercialized, especially when compared to the others that live longer, but they can look good in, for example, a xero-garden.

Euphorbia cyparissias

Euphorbia cyparissias is an herb

La Euphorbia cyparissias It is a lively herb known as cypress euphorbia or milk thirst that grows in Europe. It grows between 10 and 30 centimeters in height, and has elongated green leaves that turn reddish in autumn. Due to its origin, it is ideal for growing in temperate regions as it supports moderate frosts well.

Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’

Euphorbia Diamond Frost is a herb with white flowers

Image – Wikimedia / David J. Stang

The diamond euphorbia, is a hybrid of Euphorbia hypericifolia. It is an annual cycle herb that reaches a height of approximately 30 centimeters. It has very decorative white flowers that sprout in spring-summer.

meager euphorbia

The Euphorbia exigua is small

Image – Wikimedia / Stefan.lefnaer

La meager euphorbia It is an annual herb native to Macaronesia, Europe, and reaches Iran. It has straight stems and linear leaves, and It is about 25 centimeters tall.

Euphorbia falcata

Euphorbia falcata is an ornamental herb

Image – Flickr / Jorge Íñiguez Yarza

La Euphorbia falcata is an annual herb native to Macaronesia, the Mediterranean region, and the Himalayas.  Grows between 20 and 30 centimeters tall, and develops green stems with oval leaves.

Euphorbia hirsuta

The Euphorbia hirsuta is a herbaceous plant

Image – Flickr / José María Escolano

La Euphorbia hirsuta it is endemic to Macaronesia and the Mediterranean region. Grows between 30 and 40 centimeters in height, and its stems are often covered with very short hairs.

Euphorbia Lathyris.

Euphorbia lathyris is an herb

Image – Wikimedia / Syrio

La Euphorbia Lathyris. or spurge is a perennial herb that grows wild in India and Africa. It reaches a height of 30-90 centimeters, and is bluish-green in color. It is especially cultivated for its mole repellent properties.

Euphorbia medicaginea

The Euphorbia is a very numerous genus of plants

Image – Wikimedia / CT Johansson

La Euphorbia medicaginea is an annual herb native to the Iberian Peninsula, the Balearic Islands and North Africa that reaches 35 centimeters in height. The leaves are lanceolate, green in color, and arise from more or less straight stems. It is a ruderal plant, which is often considered a weed when grown in cultivated land.

Obese euphorbia

The obese Euphorbia is a succulent

Image – Wikimedia / Petar43

La Obese euphorbia is a perennial succulent herb endemic to South Africa that has a ball-shaped stem. It is 15 centimeters in diameter and about 10 centimeters tall when it reaches adulthood, and it has no spines.. It is one of the most decorative Euphorbia species.

paralyzed euphorbia

Euphorbia paralias is a herbaceous plant

Image – Wikimedia / Zeynel Cebeci

La paralyzed euphorbia It is a perennial herb native to Macaronesia, the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean region. It has stems that grow upright, about 75 centimeters tall, and green. It only lives well in well-drained terrain, as long as there are no moderate frosts.

Euphorbia prostrata

Euphorbia prostrata is a short-growing herb

Image – Wikimedia / Harry Rose

La Euphorbia prostrata It is an endemic annual cycle herb from the United States to South America. Develops slender, hanging stems up to 20 centimeters long, Green color. In the places of origin it has been used for digestive disorders, but it is not advisable to consume if it is not under medical registration.

Euphorbia segetalis

Euphorbia segetalis is a small herb

Image – Wikimedia / Drow male

La Euphorbia segetalis It is a lively or annual herb depending on the climate, native to Macaronesia, the Canary Islands, and the Mediterranean region. Reaches a height of 10 to 40 centimeters, and in its places of origin it has been used as a laxative and antiseptic.

Euphorbia serrata

Euphorbia serrata is a small-flowered herb

Image – Flickr / Bernard DUPONT

La Euphorbia serrata, known as the fig tree of hell or serrated leaf spurge, is an annual herb native to the European continent that reaches 40 centimeters in height. It develops a single stem with leaves whose margin is serrated. As a curious fact, it is believed that in some towns in Andalusia girls used the sap of this plant to paint their faces.

Euphorbia suzannae

Euphorbia suzannae, is a small succulent

Image – Wikimedia / stephen boisvert

La Euphorbia suzannae it is a succulent herb native to South Africa. It has cylindrical stems, short about 10 centimeters, and with very short and harmless spines. It grows fast, and can withstand mild frosts.

Euphorbia terracina

Euphorbia terracina is an herb

Image – Wikimedia / Ragnhild & Neil Crawford from Sweden

La Euphorbia terracina It is an annual herb native to Macaronesia, the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean area. Grows up to 65 centimeters tall, and usually has a simple stem, although sometimes it branches.

Which of these types of Euphorbia did you like the most?

+25 types of Euphorbia: herbs, trees and shrubs

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