«Columnar Cactus» Bruce and the Wild West
If you like «Butch Cassidy» or John Wayne movies, «Bruce» is the ideal setting. This succulent plant seems to have come straight out of a Western. It looks like a columnar cactus, but botanically it belongs to the euphorbia. However, the care requirements are similar.
Because «Bruce» loves a dry, hot climate, little water and a bright location, but is otherwise very easy to care for. There is only little that needs to be taken into account: As he develops quite quickly into a handsome fellow, it is best to give him enough space right from the start. Also spare him the blazing midday sun.
During the summer months, you can easily place him in a sunny to semi-shady place outdoors after a period of habituation, but make sure that he does not get any rain (possibly keep him under a roof).
In autumn, the euphorbia must be moved to the inside in good time, where it ideally hibernates in a room with a temperature of at least 15 degrees C, with plenty of daylight and little water.
If the columnar euphorbia becomes too high, it can be cut. But be careful: the milky latex causes skin irritation, so gloves should be worn when working.
Behind the euphorbia «Bruce» hides a sturdy South African
The «columnar cactus» Bruce belongs to the large family of euphorbias and is native to South Africa. The shoots of this succulent plant act as a water reservoir and guarantee good chances of survival in dry and hot regions. In their native habitat, these plants grow up to ten meters high - depending on the species - and in indoor cultivation they can grow between one and two and a half meters.
Euphorbia is a succulent plant whose milky latex - poisonous to us - has a protective function for the plant. It was formerly used by the local population despite its toxicity. It was employed to treat injured tendons, as an ointment against head diseases, and also paralysis, migraine, sciatica and jaundice were treated with it. Surprisingly, there are wild animals in Africa that have adapted to the poisonous latex and can eat the plant without harm.