Where does succulent come from?
Garden origin. The original natural habitat of this species is the Abd al Kuri Island, next to Socotra Island, Yemen.
Euphorbia abdelkuri cv. Damask
What succulent looks like?
The Euphorbia abdelkuri is a very peculiar candelabra-like succulent plant which looks like a grey candle with whitish-grey melted wax on it. It form densely branched candelabra-like clumps usually not more than 1 m hight by 1,5 in diameter on one clump (but occasionally in habitat some plants can reach 3 m of height and an equivalent diameter). It is one of the most coveted Euphorbia species.
Stems About 5 cm in diameter, pinkish-reddish, columnar, spineless, simple, branching from the base or occasionally splitting dichotomously. Generally has 6 ribs with a somewhat wrinkled, worn looking ‘skin’ with slightly raised conical tubercles. Time by time some branches produces grey ribs. Random patches of grey on a plant rarely occur and then only on very young offsets. Change in a bicoloured plant is always for the red to take over partially or totally from the grey, never the opposite. The colour of the new growth is a a brighter pinkish red and it will then turn to the grey-pink colour. The latex is yellow.
How to grow succulent?
Due to its slow growth rate and rarity it is thought difficult to grow on its own roots. It is almost always grafted Euphorbia canariensis, but it may be degrafted and rootted and, surprisingly, it’s quite easy to grow. It’s uncommon to lose a plant. It like a sunny position. It does best in a mineral soil, good drainage is essential. Water sparingly during the summer months and keep dry in winter. It is a slow growing long lived plant and once established, it will be content in its position and with its soil for years. Seems to have no problems growing in a heavy summer rainfall area, in extremely well drained, mineralized soil mix.
Propagation is Graft. The cv. Damask is usually grown almost exclusively grafted on Euphorbia canariensis which proven to be the ideal grafting stock. The grafting are very successful, new grafts often show growth within 3 weeks. But, as it contains chlorophyll and would seem to differ from the norm only in colour and possibly a greater tendency to branch, probably it can be grown on its own roots too.