Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Pedilanthus tithymaloides (L.) Poit.

Frost tender, upright, bushy, clump-forming, succulent shrub with zigzagged stems, evergreen or deciduous, elliptic leaves, often powdery beneath, and fleshy red bract-cups, to 1.5cm long, yellow green at the base, in summer.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Of the numerous genera which have been contrived out of the Linnaean genus Euphorbia, the Pedilanthus of Necker is the only one which has been retained by M. Adrian de Jussieu, in his recent valuable work upon the Euphorbiaceae.  From Euphorbia it is scarcely distinguishable except by the very curious and peculiar form of the involucrum.  In addition to the synonyms usually cited to this plant, we observe, that Professor Link quotes the Euphorbia myrtifolia of Linnaeus and Swartz, a wholly different plant, and a true Euphorbia.  Our drawing was made at Mr. Colvill’s Nursery.  The plant is a native of South America, and requires the protection of a stove.  We have had no opportunity of describing it.’  [BR f.837/1824].  Introduced to Britain in 1820.  [PD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues only [T.738/1850].


Published Feb 20, 2010 - 02:09 PM | Last updated Jul 18, 2010 - 03:34 PM

Figured are zig-zag stem, elliptic leaves and red and green flower-like bract cups.  Botanical Register f.837, 1824.

Pedilanthus tithymaloides (L.) Poit. | BR f.837/1824 | BHL

Family Euphorbiaceae
Region of origin

Central America, Southern North America, Caribbean

  • Euphorbia tithymaloides L. 
Common Name

Jew bush, Slipper spurge, Red-bird cactus

Name in the Camden Park Record

Pedilanthus tethymaloides

Confidence level high