Euphorbia cussonoides

Euphorbia cussonoides

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Natural Range: Kenya

IUCN Conservation Status

Critically Endangered (CR)

Euphorbia cussonoides is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family and is only found in Kenya. It grows on steep rocky slopes and dry evergreen forest where it can attain heights of 25 m.

Euphorbia cussonoides is experiencing habitat loss due to expanding agriculture and human settlement. In some sites, the species may no longer be present, with the most recent observation in the wild being in 2018 and, before this, 1971. Luckily the species is found in ex situ colletions. There are low levels of regeneration due decreased moisture in the area.

Although there is a strong tree planting movement in Kenya, as well as the Kenyan government’s development plan, ‘Vision2030’, calling for 10% tree cover, many of the species being planted are exotic. GTC is working in Kenya to conserve native trees such as, E. cussonoides, by establishing both in situ and ex situ conservation practises with local partners. Training in effective management and maintenance of collections is also being led.

Photo Credit – Quentin Luke

Did you know?

The mpingo tree from Tanzania provides much of the wood used to make high quality clarinets, oboes, wooden flutes and bagpipes.