Funny looking and dangerous cactus.

by Andrew S.
(West Henrietta, NY)


My friend gave me this plant for my recent graduation. It hurt me quite a bit when I didn't know what was in the bag (she tried to warn me). One of the little spines stuck in my finger. My wife says we should get some heavy gloves so that we can replant this thing, since as you can see it's WAY overgrown it's container.

I have 2 main questions. Any idea what this funny lookin' guy is, and what in the world are these things growing out of it?


Hi Andrew, that really was a nasty trick - especially as this is a poisonous plant.

However, generally it's the sap of these that is dangerous, so simply getting stabbed by the thorns won't be an issue (not that you would like it though).

This is Euphorbia lactea 'Cristata', sometimes also called Dragon Bones, Candelabra or Elkhorn.

I'm thinking that the funny things sticking out are either flower buds or the remains of the flowers.

You can see more on my site about this genus here.

Hope that helps,

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Apr 04, 2016
echinovibia "rainbow burst" cristata
by: Renato G Hamelius

Amazing plant btw.
But this is no Euphorbia.

As you discovered those were flowers, some of the best

Jul 04, 2014
Crazy flowers
by: Andrew S.

It's worth noting, that she did warn me about the gift, I just thought it was a "don't break it," not a "don't touch it too hard," warning.

I was trying to do some research about this plant today, and I was wondering what the difference between the Cristata and Echinobivia is exactly, since I feel they look very similar.

The weird growths did turn into flowers. It had 4 big pretty flowers (which died within 24 hours of blooming). The flowers look a lot like the Rainbow Burst plant, while the shape of the plant looks more like the Cristata.

Image on


Wow, those pictures are spectacular, Andrew! Thanks for sharing.

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