Euphorbia heptagona (part 1 of 2)

Even a quick look at the pictures in the two parts of this post will tell you that this species comes in many guises.
No less than five varieties have been described in the past, but  most experts do not accept them anymore. In addition to this,  E. enopla and E. atrispina are now usually considered to be synoniems.

The plants are much-branched shrubs ranging in height between 7 and 130 cm and are either male or female. The branches are 1.5-3 cm in diameter and have 6-9 angles with obscure tubercles. They bear stout simple thorns (actually woody peduncles) 0.8-6 cm long.
One can come across this species in dry scrubland on stony north-facing slopes and rocky outcrops, from Ceres and Montagu in the West to Jansenville  and Graaff-Reinet in the East.

First two examples of E. atrispina

Pictures 3 and 4 show plants on the Oubergpass near Montagu


Typical E. heptagona