Desert Candle Cactus - Euphorbia acrurensis

Sprouts of Bristol
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Scientific Name
Euphorbia acrurensis (Euphorbus' plant with prickles)

Common Name
Desert Candle Cactus, African Milk Tree

Native to West Africa

This huge Desert Candle Cactus will draw attention not just because of its standout size and shape (it is certainly a statement cactus!) but also because of its lush green stem-and impressive spikes! If you're looking to fill a large, sunny window, this is the plant for you; it will benefit from direct sunlight and will reward your care with its bright colour and striking shape.


Euphorbia like bright light, and can cope with direct sun; choose a window that gets a few hours of direct sun in the morning or evening for best results.


This cactus cannot cope well with having constantly-moist soil, so make sure it dries out totally between waters. If your plant is in a position with less direct light, be extra careful not to overwater it!

This cactus is adapted to arid (dry) conditions so does not need a humid location at all. If it's getting dusty feel free to hose down to clean, just make sure it can dry out quickly.

Use a well-draining soil designed for cacti and succulents, usually a mix with added grit and sand. Repot every three to four years in spring as the plant grows.

Feed every other water in spring and summer; reduce to one in three in autumn and winter.


Average temperatures of 15-32°C are fine; make sure it doesn't get colder than 12°C in winter.

No, this plant is toxic to pets and small humans, as well as having sharp spikes!

Sprouts Top Tips
If you notice brown discolouration on your Euphorbia's stems, check closer before you act; if it is soggy you may need to take cuttings to save it, but if it is 'corking' and the brown is more like hard scabs, this is natural and not a concern.