The genus Euphorbia was established by Linnaeus in 1753 and commemorates Euphorbus, the 1st century physician to King Juba II of Mauritania, who is thought to have used plants, such as euphorbias, as medicine. It is a large genus and consists of about 2000 species. Not all are succulent. Of the 270 species that occur in South Africa almost 200 (74%) are succulent. Euphorbias are widespread in southern Africa, ranging from the north to the south, east to west, from the coast to the high Drakensberg escarpment and Lesotho. They vary from dwarf plants a few centimetres high to large trees such as the naboom, Euphorbia that can grow up to 15 m tall. Most succulent euphorbias are common in the semi-arid parts of South Africa. The Eastern Cape is especially rich in Euphorbia species. Most of these make splendid garden subjects and are excellent for the hot, dry garden. Easy to grow house plant in the sun. Water when dry.