For years we have been selling a little hybridised pot plant called Euphorbia Somona. The original Euphorbia of this species was from Madagascar and called Euphorbia milii. Somona was developed and bred for the European market which meant it was important that it was a compact plant as that is what growers in places like Denmark want.
They were also very popular in tropical Thailand and Taiwan, where they were called Poysean – which means Eight Saints and named after the eight saints of Chinese mythology: health, bravery, riches, beauty, art, intelligence, poetry and the ability to overcome evil. Growing one of these outside the home was considered to bring these positive attributes to those within it.
There has now been a larger variety bred, that should be perfect for the Australian market. Introducing Euphorbia Lipstick.
This new Euphorbia Lipstick has been much anticipated since its media realase last April. I guess the smaller variety we have been selling has been such a good little performer, that a bigger version would be an added bonus. You will find the smaller Somona variety in 100mm pots and they will always be tiny plants. The Lipstick will be available in a pot more than twice the size and has bigger leaves and flowers and can apparently grow up to a metre.
These Euphorbias are succulents and have quite sharp thorns, although I believe the thorns on Lipstick are softer. These plants have also been known as the ‘crown of thorns’.
You need to grow them in a patio or protected area except maybe up north where they would probably grow in the open and outside. We find you need to a bit careful not to overwater them, although we have grown them in a hydroponics system outside the Gardenworld Cafe and they have lasted nearly a year, with very little maintenance. They were outside, but under cover and thrive there.
This is a plant that may not last forever, although there are stories of people having them for years. My final recommendation is the most telling – yes, even my mum can grow them and she loves them.