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This book is a treatise on Euphorbia polygona, morphologgically perhaps the most diverse member of the genus Euphorbia in the wild. In a way, it is also a plea for recognising and formally labelling natural infraspecific diversity.
Largely guided by field observations between 2010 and 2017, the author identified 12 different natural variations of this South African endemic species, each recognised at varietal level and presented here in detail. The varieties are illustrated by over 200 photographs. Dichotomous identification keys, an infraspecific comparison and a distribution map are also included.
This impressive barrel-shaped succulent spurge is often confused with a cactus and is a very popular garden and greenhouse plant, frequently offered at nurseries in several forms. For those enthusiasts who like to grow Euphorbia polygona, there are cultivation tips and instructions based on the environmental conditions the plants are subjected to in their natural habitat.
Book details: Hardcover with dust jacket, 154 pages (20 x 25cm), over 200 col. photographs, 3 watercolours, 1 map and 1 diagram, English language, ISBN 978-300-058957-7, 67.00 € + postage (add 6.99 € for delivery within Germany or 9.00 € outside Germany, but within the EU). Please write for non-EU rates.
The book is available from the author through this website's contact form.
Species of the Euphorbia polygona complex
Distinct or not distinct?
polygona: a synonym
General description of the Euphorbia polygona complex
Morphological key to the subgroups of the Euphorbia polygona complex
Morphological key to the varieties in the Euphorbia polygona complex
Taxonomic treatment of Euphorbia polygona
The Polygona subgroup
1. Euphorbia polygona var. polygona
2. Euphorbia polygona var. ambigua
3. Euphorbia polygona var. anoplia
4. Euphorbia polygona var. exilis
5. Euphorbia polygona var. nivea (‘Snowflake’)
6. Euphorbia polygona var. noorsveldensis
7. Euphorbia polygona var. striata
The Horrida subgroup
8. Euphorbia polygona var. horrida
9. Euphorbia polygona var. alba
10. Euphorbia polygona var. hebdomadalis
11. Euphorbia polygona var. major
12. Euphorbia polygona var. minor
Euphorbia polygona as a container plant
Annual life cycle
Pests and diseases
Appendix 1: Pollinators of Euphorbia polygona
Appendix 2: Comparison of the varieties of the Euphorbia polygona species complex
Appendix 3: Distribution map of the Euphorbia polygona species complex
Appendix 4: Natural hybrids of Euphorbia polygona
Appendix 5 International Euphorbia Society