Zombie Plant is Coming

euphorbia platyclada

I probably should have waited to post this until it was doing something more exciting than simply being alive in a pot, but the fact that it is alive at all is one reason why I find this euphorbia so thrilling in the first place.

Euphorbia platyclada is a living succulent plant that looks dead, or at the very least like a zombified plant taking imperceptible micro-steps forward with its leafless arms* splayed out and fingers dangling like dead weights. It is yet another oddity in my growing collection of alien euphorbias from outer space, and was also a gift from my friend and fellow Euphorbia enthusiast Uli.

[Aside: Davin says that this description and post title is the product of having played too much Plants Versus Zombies. For those who aren't familiar with the game, each round begins with a scary voice that says, "Zombies are coming." Although, in the game, the plants are not the zombies, but the line of defence against them. Why yes, I am 40 years old.]

euphorbia platyclada

I don’t know much yet about the plant except that it is from Madagascar and requires approximately zone 10 conditions above freezing in order to keep it outdoors year-round. Mine is currently outside on my back porch where it enjoys partial shade and late day sun. However, it will be coming inside shortly to live in my office window for the winter among many of my other tender succulents.

I love the look of this plant on its own in a pot as a specimen. However, I am considering trying it among other succulents in a window box next summer. The droopy leaves would lend themselves well to that or up near the front of a large pot with an assortment of succulents with less eye-catching foliage surrounding it.

*What appear to be leafless arms or stems are in fact, modified leaves.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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11 thoughts on “Zombie Plant is Coming

  1. I’m older than you and I’m playing plans versus zombies 2 having played the first game all the way through twice :) The plant definitely has zombieish qualities. I like it.

  2. Have you seen the man who grew a tomato plant with potatoes in the same pot? He said that the plant was all natural with no genetic alteration. He also said that the tomato and potatoes are of the same species type and grew in harmony in the same planter. Sounds like a excellent start to a garden of victory over GMO’s! I think GMO’s are a man made plague of the 21st century. HAPPY AUTUMN … ! :-)

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