Euphorbia obesa
Common name: Baseball Plant
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Euphorbiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: Euphorbia obesa

Overview of Euphorbia obesa
This plant is endemic to southern Africa. This plant has been coveted as a garden plant for its relative tolerance to a range of temperatures, its tendency to need little water, and its unique and interesting appearance.

Euphorbia obesa can only be found in the wild in the Northern Cape of South Africa. They are grown in botanical gardens and as home decorations as well, but their sole natural habitat is in the Northern Cape of South Africa. Within the Northern Cape is a smaller area called the Karoo, and the majority of wild Euphorbia obesa grow in the Graaff-Reinet region of the Karoo.

The largest population of Euphorbia obesa live in a section of the Great Karoo called Graaff-Reinet, shown below.

There are an estimated 500 mature Euphorbia obesa left in the wild, with most of them located in Graaff-Reinet and smaller subpopulations scattered throughout the Great Karoo and the Northern Cape.

Endangerment and Conservation Effort
Because it is hardy and considered aesthetic, Euphorbia obesa was harvested to endangerment in the early 1900s. Since 1915, a trade ban has prohibited removing it from its habitat, reducing collection and allowing some revival of the natural population. Unsurprisingly, it also faces habitat destruction as another threat, but domestic gardens and greenhouses provide a safety net against total extinction and serve alongside the trade ban as the main measures preventing the extinction of Euphorbia obesa.



Citations and Links for Additional Information