Weekend Plantings Pencil tree is an old Florida favorite

By Charles ReynoldsLedger correspondent

The pencil tree – sometimes called pencil cactus, though it’s unrelated to cactuses – is the world’s most common succulent Euphorbia. According to Fred Dortort, author of ”Succulent Plants of the World,” this species, thought to be native to Africa, grows across the southern half of that continent as well as in India and much of Tropical Asia and the Americas. A green-branched, largely leafless plant, it grows up to 25 feet tall in sun or shade on well-drained sites. The growth rate is slow to moderate, and plants can be kept any size through occasional pruning.

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