Baseball Plant

ENDANGERED

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The baseball plant (Euphorbia obesa), is only found in the Karoo desert, South Africa. It is a popular house plant due to its unusual morphology: a ball shaped single stem, with 8 vertical ribs and 8 shallow grooves. It can reach 8inc in height and 3.5inc in width. The colour and shape of this plant provides it with excellent camouflage in the wild - an untrained eye will not spot it. This plant blooms during summer, flowers appear along the sides which emit a delicate smell that attracts insects to pollinate. The mature fruit explodes to release the seeds. It grows slowly and only starts to produce flowers after 5-8 years. Baboons and grazing animals consume the plant during periods of drought. This species is threatened by habitat destruction, over-collection and poaching, bringing it evermore close to extinction.