Euphorbia Caput-Medusae represents a unique succulent in the genus Euphorbia. It remains endemic only to the region surrounding Cape Town, South Africa, in Africa.
The Euphorbia Caput-Medusae presents a short, central caudex. This immediately spreads into a mass of serpent-like items which resemble the head of Medusa and forms the source of the common name.
These stems grow covered with thick, scale-like structures, and commonly attain an overall diameter of as much as 3.3 feet (1 m). Small deciduous leaves typically appear near the ends of each stem.
Euphorbia Caput-Medusae Habitat and Characteristics
The Euphorbia Caput-Medusae generally grows in deep soil and rocky areas along the coastline. The numerous tubercles remain covered in structures resembling the scales of a snake. Just imagine the sight.
The twisting stems of this plant also sometimes bury themselves beneath the soil. During Spring and Summer, the ends of the stems develop a covering of numerous small flowers. These appear either white, red, or pink in color.
Though it does not rank as toxic, the milky colored sap produced by the plant often causes irritation to the eyes and skin, if one finds oneself exposed to it.
Unfortunately, much of the plant’s native habitat has been destroyed by urban development.