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Euphorbia aeruginosa Schweick.

Miniature saguaro

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderMalpighialesA broad group encompassing 16,000 species
FamilyEuphorbiaceaeEuphorbia or spurge family
GenusEuphorbiaAn extremely diverse-looking genus of mostly tropical and subtropical succulent plants. For Euphorbus, corpulent Greek physician of Juba II, King of Mauretania. Literally, “euphorbia” means “well-fed”
SpeciesaeruginosaFrom Latin aerūgō, “[blue green] rust of copper, verdigris,” and‎ -ōsus.

About plant names...

This euphorbia is a South African native, not found in the wild in North America.

Identification: Plants are up to 1′ (30 cm) in height, with blue-green stems that are roughly square in cross-section and about ⅜″ (1 cm) on a side. Spine groups appear along the edges of the stems; spines are dark orange-brown and about ⅜″ (1 cm) in length. Flowers are small bright yellow cyathia, appearing near the stem tips.

Online References:


Cal Lamke's Cal's Plant of the Week, at the University of Oklahoma's Department of Botany and Microbiology


The University of Connecticut Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Plant Growth Facilities



Euphorbia aeruginosa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Euphorbia aeruginosa (miniature saguaro)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, Mary­land · ≈ 12 × 17″ (29 × 44 cm)

Range: Zones 10-11:

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