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JB Goode
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Possible ID of this unknow plant (Euphorbia obesa)

Hi everyone

I realize that everyone here are very skilled and know their plants and I'm a total novice but if you don't mind, I'd like to get some information on a plant that I have if that's all right with all of you. .
I've included 2 pictures and would like to give a little history.
This plant that I purchased about 5 yrs ago was a perfectly round plant between the size of a golf ball and baseball. I never knew what it was because someone had pulled the ID tag and threw it away. After about 1 yr it started growing very slowly into the shape you can see. The plant now looks very beat up( brown vertical scars--narrowness in the middle) because of moving changes, climate changes, being kept in a wrong temperature. I almost threw it away. I've never seen another plant like this again so I never could identify it. 2 yrs ago, 3 nodules started growing on it very slowly in the middle area of the plant. Notice the 3 white marks in the middle of the parent plant. I left the plant alone thinking that more would grow. That didn't happen. Each of these nodules were duplicates of what the plant looked like when I bought it. Each were the size of a large marble. About 6 mts ago, I removed the 3 nodules and planted them beczuse they stayed the same size ( marbles) . In a short time they started growing in the same shape as the parent plant. The mother plant is now approx 8 inch high. Each of the nodules are now about 1 inch high.
My questions are this.
1---does anyone have any idea what the name of this plant is?
2---does anyone know whether this plant looks like a cactus or a succulent?

On the mother plant, every summer, some tiny little hairs come out on the top of the mother plant. They look like some type of extremely type of flower will grow but they always die within 2 to 3 weeks but that's not bothering me.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Dave


[img]https://img.photobucket.Com/albums/v50/DaveVP/DSCN0063.jpg[/img]

[img]https://img.photobucket.Com/albums/v50/DaveVP/DSCN0060.jpg[/img]

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Kisal
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Possibly Euphorbia obesa?
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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JB Goode
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Well, thanks very much. I looked up the scientific name you gave, found 3 pictures and yes, it looks quite like the plant I bought years ago all the way down to that periodic growth on the top. That plant now has height as the pictures I submitted show. It's the first time I've ever seen another picture of it. I thought I'd never get an ID. Thank you very much for your help.

Dave

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Kisal
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You're welcome, Dave. Glad to have you here at the Helpful Gardener. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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JB Goode
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Hi

I have one more question concerning the pictures above. Now that I've seen about 13 pictures of different *baseball* plants after getting that great answer to my original questions which were right on, the one thing I never asked was this---Concerning the large plant in my picture, was it normal that this plant started growing from the *baseball* into a tall pointed succulent? The reason that I ask is because when I found all those pictures, none of them looked like what my picture above looked like. All those pictures I found showed perfectly round plants just like my plant looked like when I first purchased it. Even the cuttings that I repotted about 6 mts ago as perfectly round shapes are starting to grow into that upward shape. It took a few years for that large plant to start doing that. Did I damage that large plant that caused it to grow like that?
Thanks
Dave

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Kisal
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No, it was nothing that you did or failed to do. The cacti do grow taller over time. I found one picture of a plant very similar to yours. It was one that had produced pups, which had been removed, leaving the scar-like marks such the ones on your larger plant. I have no idea what the URL is for the site where I saw the pic, though. I'll be happy to try to find it again and post it for you, but it will have to be later tonight. I've been ill for the past couple of weeks, and am finally feeling well enough to try to catch up with my chores around here. :)

ETA: I tried to find the pic just now, but couldn't. However, I did find an informative page about Euphorbia obesa, which states that they are rounded when young, but grow taller with age. Perhaps you'll find the page of interest:

https://www.cactus-art.biz/schede/EUPHORBIA/Euphorbia_obesa/Euphorbia_obesa/euphorbia_obesa.htm
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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JB Goode
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Kisal

Thanks very much. I just didn't know what was going on.

Ps--thanks for the rush answer but it wasn't necessary to be so quick. I have lots of patience. Today is Halloween and my pain in the a** grandchildren are visiting , are haunting me and getting their costumes on for tonight and because of this day, my patience is wearing thin so that's an exception to the rule.

Dave

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sprout
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my E. obessa grew into a similar pearish shape. Then it died when I went on vacation :cry:

kaktuskris
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Euphorbia obesa

Just joined the forum after reading this thread.

IMO your Euphorbia obesa are all etiolated, in other words, they grow longer and thinner because they need more light. E. obesa over time will grow taller, less round but not to the extreme in the pictures. They like bright direct light. Also, the soil looks too organic, needs better drainage, and I would go with smaller pots of clay, not plastic. Hope this is of help.
Christopher

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JB Goode
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I appreciate what you've said. Yes, I'm probably doing many wrong things but understand that I was extremely surprised when all of this originally happened plus I wasn't knowlegeable as far as what to do with those small cuttings. About 1 month ago I did switch to very small clay pots and the only thing left to do now is change the soil. As far as light goes, it's unusual here because the best light comes in through windows which have floor vents ( heat ) so loss of humidity is constantly occuring. In this part of PA right now, it's constantly frigid outside. We have terrible winters and the air is extremely dry all year long so the next best thing I'm gonna do is get a small Gro Light, put it on top of an old 10 gal fish tank and put the cutting in there for lighting purposes.

Thanks for your advice.

Dave

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Kisal
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Dave, switching to a proper cactus mix and clay pots will be good for your cacti, but I'm not sure that a fish tank would be a good place for them. They evolved to live under desert conditions, which means very dry air. The fish tank, even if you leave the top uncovered, would very probably trap too much humidity. I think all you need is to provide the supplementary lighting, and the cacti will do fine. JMO, though. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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JB Goode
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Ok, will do. Just finished replacing the soil with cactus soil. The clay pots I'm using are much smaller than the pots in the picture. So, I'll put them back by the window and not worry to much about the extreme dryness here. Thanks again.
[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v50/DaveVP/DSCN0069.jpg[/img]

Sorry, tried to post a pic of the new pots but it seems like the picture won't download here. My other pics are also gone.

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Kisal
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I don't recommend too small of pots. Remember that most, if not all, cacti that live in arid environments have 2 types of roots. Commonly they will have a deep root system, sometimes including a taproot, to allow them to access water deeper in the ground. However, they also have a shallow, wide reaching root system that allows them to take advantage of water immediately as it soaks into the ground. You don't want to cramp that wide, shallow root system too much. I try to allow at least 1" between the outside of the base of the cactus and the rim of the pot. When the cactus has grown to the point that that distance is reduced to about 1/2", I repot it to a pot large enough to again allow a 1" margin. With larger cacti, I allow a margin as much as 2". :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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JB Goode
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Kisal

Again, thanks very much. I changed the soil, am using clay pots and also , I raised each plant higher again so that the whole bulb gets that light. What was happening before was that with the other soil every time I sprayed water on it, the soil kept sinking down and down in the pot taking the plant with. It got to a point where about the only thing higher than the rim of the pot was the top of each plant and that's the area that grew. So, I'm gonna try this and see what happens. I notice that that doesn't happen with cactus soil. I put the plants back on the well lit window area and since you say that they will tolerate very warm arid areas I'll see what happens there too. I really thought that putting any type of plant there was a big no no. It seems that in my surrounding area, it's difficult to get small clay pots even though there's a few big gardening centers around. Maybe when spring comes more various sizes will be available. The small ones above were originally 6 to a plastic pack, each with a very small plant in them. I'm sure you must of come across these things in the past. Sorta like starter sets.
Happy new year.

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Kisal
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Yes, I've seen those little packs of pots. If you're diligent, you can sometimes find small clay pots online at a reasonable price.

I cherish each and every one of the small clay pots that I own, and protect them as though they were priceless heirlooms! :lol:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

kaktuskris
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The plants are much better off in these smaller clay pots, and with plenty of sun hopefully they will look more like the "baseball plant" they are sometimes called. Remember these are Euphorbia, not cacti. These plants come from Africa, not America like cacti.

Also, it is much easier to overwater, (which is the leading cause of houseplant death) in a pot which is too large for the plant. It would always be safer to pot Euphorbia or cacti in a smaller pot, rather than a larger one. Euphorbia do not have exceptionally large root systems based on my experience. Nor do many cacti; quite the contrary, in fact. Look at the Saguaro, for example. The root system is very small and shallow. When they transplant these, you would be amazed at how small the root system is on these tall cacti.

Christopher
Christopher

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JB Goode
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Hi Chris

Well, someone else here gave me similar information and I did as best as I could. In my photos, those 3 cuttings started that upward growth shortly after I potted each. When they were attached to the mother plant, they were perfect "baseball shapes". The pots they're in now are small clay pots in the proper soil. All are now dormant so I won't see any changes ( bad or good) until spring arrives. There's been some slight shrinkage in the 3 small plants but other then that they remain the same.
Thanks for your help.

Dave

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