Euphorbia tirucalli, commonly called pencil cactus, is a desert species that thrives with high light, high heat, and less water. It requires gritty or sandy, well-draining soil and little water. Characterized by its slender stems, it derives its common name from its resemblance to pencils. During cooler months, the euphorbia tirucalli may develop bright pink, orange, or yellow tips when grown in full, direct sun.
When cut, the pencil cactus exudes milky, latex-like sap, which must be handled with gloves as it is extremely toxic.