Cactus and succulents

The African Milk Bush: Euphorbia Grantii

Photo : Forest & Kim Starr

Euphorbia grantii is a unique, low maintenance succulent native to East Africa, namely Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zaire. The synonym Synadenium grantii is sometimes used. Euphorbia grantii was named after the explorer James Augustus Grant. It is sometimes also called Euphorbia umbellata. It grows in mountainous regions at altitudes of 500 to 2100 meters, but it is also often grown as a hedge and is also found as a houseplant.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Genre: Euphorbia

Botanical name: Euphorbia grantii

Other names: Synadenium grantii, African Milkbush

Hardiness zone : 10-11 USDA

Photo : Joseg.serrano


  1. Appearance: Euphorbia grantii‘s cylindrical stems are few in number, and so are its branches. Its oval-shaped leaves range in color from gray-green to bluish-green, sometimes with reddish-brown hues.
  2. Size and growth: This succulent can reach 5 feet in height and 3 feet in width, making it a remarkable attraction. It has a branching growth habit and thrives in rocky areas. It can be used indoors, but will be smaller than in the wild.
  3. Flowers: Euphorbia grantii produces small discrete flowers appearing near the end of the stems. It can bloom all year long.
  4. Toxicity: All euphorbias contain a milky white latex that is known to be toxic. Hands should be washed thoroughly in case of contact with this latex.

Medical use: The diluted latex of the African milk bush is, in return, used to treat intestinal worms. It is also applied to wounds. Compounds have been extracted from its stems that have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Photo : David J. Stang


  1. Light: Provide as much light as possible, ideally direct sunlight.
  2. Soil: Use a well-drained, granular succulent soil mix to prevent root rot.
  3. Watering: Watering should be done sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between them.
  4. Fertilization: During the growing season, from spring to fall.
  5. Temperature: Euphorbia grantii prefers temperatures between 15 and 27 °C, but can tolerate short periods of colder temperatures.
  6. Propagation: This plant can be propagated by stem cuttings, letting them heal before putting them in the ground.
  7. Pruning: Entire branches can be removed to increase aeration or improve the structure of the plant. Stem tips can also be pinched off to encourage branching.

Euphorbia grantii is a beautiful, hardy succulent you can add to a plant collection, effortlessly. With its distinctive appearance and minimal care requirements, this fascinating species offers endless enjoyment to both novice and experienced plant lovers. It can thrive as an indoor or outdoor garden, wherever conditions permit.

Hi, my name is Richard. I am a succulent enthusiast and the owner of Succulent City. My passion is to share the love of this plant with everyone on the planet. I hope you like the content. Happy reading!

3 comments on “The African Milk Bush: Euphorbia Grantii

  1. Ann Chapman

    I believe the plant we have had for over 20 years is this African Milk Bush. The only difference in ours is it never has flowered? We named it Fred. He has been fun to share with others.
    Any idea why it has never flowered?

    • Mathieu Hodgson

      Common reasons would be lack of light, over or under watering, over or under fertilizing.

  2. NOO You forgot the caterpillars. They are the best thing about this plant.

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!