Euphorbia trigona

Euphorbia trigona

African Milk Tree

Euphorbia trigona Rubra
Euphorbia trigona “Rubra”



The African Milk Tree does best in full to partial sun but is also growing good if placed in partial shade. As soon as the temperatures exceed 10 °C (50 °F) it can be placed in the garden or on the balcony. There it has to be slowly accustomed to the sun, which is no longer filtered through a window.


Mixes for cacti and succulents can be used or a mixture of regular potting soil, bird sand and pumice (2:1:1).


Let the soil dry or nearly dry between the waterings. If Euphorbia trigona is placed cool to temperate during winter water sparingly. When the plant spends the summer in the garden or on the balcony, the pot should not be placed in a coaster to allow rainwater to run off.


Every 4th to 8th week if the plant is in active growth. Feed with cacti liquid fertilizer or a standard liquid fertilizer at half strength. A new bought or recently repotted African Milk Tree don’t need to be fed for the first year.


A warm place throughout the year is fine. But Euphorbia trigona also grows good with a temperate winter rest period at about 15 °C (59 °F). Minimum temperature is 10 °C (50 °F).


The African Milk Tree can be grown from cuttings or seeds.


Euphorbia trigona

Cut carefully or wear gloves because contact with the milky sap can cause skin irritation.

Euphorbia trigona

Place the cuttings in a bowl filled with water for about 30 minutes until the flow of milky sap has stopped.

Euphorbia trigona

Remove the leaves because they would dy back anyway. Let cut surface callous over for 1 or 2 days before potting.

Euphorbia trigona

Euphorbia trigona

At 20 to 25 °C (68 to 77 °F) first roots appear after 4 weeks.

Euphorbia trigona

New shoots appear after 3 to 6 months.

Euphorbia trigona

Cuttings can also be rooted in water.


Scientific name

Euphorbia trigona

Common name(s)

African Milk Tree, Cathedral Cactus, High Chaparall


Spurge Family (Euphorbiaceae)


Central Africa (Gabon to Malawi)


Up to 3 meters



Euphorbia lactea Cristata and Euphorbia trigona
Euphorbia lactea “Cristata” (left) and E. trigona (right).
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