Corncob Cactus

Corncob Cactus


Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob)

Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) is a short stemmed, dioecious shrublet producing a dense cluster. The stem is thick, erect, simple and ribbed, deep green…

Euphorbia Species, Corn Cob Euphorbia, Corkscrew


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:


Gardeners' Notes:

On May 7, 2010, Jensilaedi from Perth,
Australia wrote:

slow growing but cheerful plant. shade and sun will not hurt it.

sap may or may not be poisonous. For those persons who definitely have an allergy/skin sensitivity will react to it. If you're not sensitive it'll just make your skin a little bit itchy and nothing more.

I have this plant potted and have been looking for a name for years! thanks..

On Oct 23, 2009, robcorreia from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I love this plant and I've never had any of the allergic reactions to the sap.

On Aug 17, 2009, DracoVolans from Crestline, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This species is happy and healthy living in the Mother-In-Law's cactus garden and I thought it was one of the neatest looking things. She 's been cutting back and seriously pruning many of the greenies that have overgrown and she tossed a "finger" of this in a box for me, along with another possible Euphorbia species (still researching that one). She knows I'm a plant freak and seems to like seeing how I do with species I'm unfamiliar with (so far, my success-rating is pretty good- I've only killed one plant she's given me so far, but it was pretty far gone by the time I got to it). My rating of neutral will likely change, depending on how my "finger" does in it's new environment. :) I'm curious if I have the chartreuse-blooming colour or the pretty red-violet variety. My "finger" . read more is the blue-green version of body colour and either bloom colour would beautiful against it. Can't wait to find out next year!

Oh, and I'm curious to know if it's unusual for a person NOT to react to the sap. I've handled several Euphorbias now, and so far nothing. :) Nearly half my container garden has plants that carry allergy-warnings in your files and I react to NONE of them. Guess I'm lucky.

On Aug 28, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

Will remain mostly green if grown indoors or in a greenhouse situation. Put outside in late Spring in 9b, full sun will turn it completely red/yellow. Dappled shade will allow some stem to remain green while those on the sunny side will color up. Likes fish emulsion diluted about 1/2 strength.

Like all Euphorbia HANDLE WITH CARE, the latex/sap is dangerous and can cause skin rash, itching and general discomfort.

In their native habitats, tropical cactuses live in South American jungles. As epiphytes, they grow attached to trees without parasitizing their hosts. Flowering plants that are commonly available during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter holidays -- collectively called holiday cactuses -- are tropical cacti that grow in USDA zones 10 through 12. Although arid and tropical cactuses are leafless, they don't look the same. Tropical cactuses have soft, segmented stems that are spineless.

Although water is more abundant in tropical jungles than in the desert, tropical cactuses drain freely by being suspended in trees so their roots aren’t prone to rotting. Tropical cactuses prefer an evenly moist soil that does not become waterlogged. Although all cactuses require good drainage, Clemson Cooperative Extension notes that tropical cactuses need more organic matter in their soil. It recommends incorporating 1 part sand into 2 parts peat moss and 1 part garden soil.

Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist and a professional writer who has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, horticultural articles, and magazine and newspaper articles. After studying botany and microbiology at Clemson University, Blackstone was hired as a University of Georgia Master Gardener Coordinator. She is also a former mortgage acquisition specialist for Freddie Mac in Atlanta, GA.

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