Medusas Head Facts
- The astounding Medusas head, also known as the Euphorbia Caput-Medusae represents a unique succulent in the genus Euphorbia.
- This amazing plant 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.
- Rather surprisingly, the species was also introduced to the Netherlands, sometime around the year 1700.
- Though the IUCN does not currently have a listing for the species, many experts consider it at risk due to the effects of climate change and habitat loss.
- The plant remains indigenous to an extremely limited natural habitat range.
Medusas head Physical Description
The stems of the remarkable Medusas head 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.
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.
Species: E. caput-medusae
Medusas Head Distribution and Habitat
Within that area, the rather strange looking plant generally grows in deep soil and rocky areas along the coastline, and rarely appears anywhere else.
Within the areas of its native habitat that remain, it still seems to be abundant. Unfortunately, much of the plant’s native habitat has been destroyed by urban development.
Also, many non-native plants have now become invasive, threatening to crowd the native species out of its natural habitat, as well.