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Baseball Plant Flower [A Uniquely Round Desert-Growing Succulent]

The strange things about Baseball Plant are its round body and unique flowers emerging from the top of the plant.

Generally, Baseball Plant flowers are called Cyathium, a trademark of the plant family Euphorbiaceae. The plant produces unisexual cup-shaped yellowish-green flowers in groups during spring or summer annually, which are pollinated by bees and butterflies.

But that’s not all. The astounding features of this unique-looking plant and its flowers are in the article below!

Baseball Plant [Overview & Appearance]

The Baseball Plant (Euphorbia obesa) is a perennial succulent native to the Cape Province region in South Africa belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family.

The unique slow-growing habit of the plant allows it to attain a height between 7 inches and 3 feet, depending on the environmental conditions.

Further, the name of the Baseball Plant comes from its cylindrical to round appearance and reddish-brown ridges that run vertically along the resembling baseball stitchings.

Image represents flowering Baseball Plant
Baseball Plants have unisexual flowers that rise from the top of the plant.

Also, the murky green skin adds a unique backdrop to the plant, which perfectly fits with the stitched ridges.  

Although the plant lack leaves, its thick and succulent stems hold enough water during extensive droughts.

Baseball Plants have been popular since their discovery in the early 1800s due to their unique looks, little-to-no care requirements, and succulent growth habit. 

Furthermore, the plant is heat tolerant and can survive in full to partial sunlight and high temperature.

How To Make A Baseball Plant Flower?

Baseball Plants need 6 hours of direct sunlight, strict temperatures between 60-75°F, water weekly during spring and summer, 50-60% humidity, well-draining soil, balanced fertilizer every 6-8 weeks in growing seasons, and repotting every 2-3 years during spring.

Baseball Plant Flower [Description]

The flowers of Baseball Plants bloom at the top of the plant in groups. This unique inflorescence is Cyathium.

Further, this kind of inflorescence is a feature of the Euphorbiaceae family, which also include the flowers of Poinsettia.

Since Baseball Plant is dioecious (individual male and female plants), the flowers are unisexual, with male and female parts in separate flowers.

How To Identify Male & Female Baseball Plants?

If you look closely, male Baseball Plants have male flowers on flat tops with anthers (male parts) dusted with yellow pollens.

However, in female Baseball Plants, the flowers have 3 yellowish stigma sticking out from the top, ready to catch pollen.

Image represents the female flowers of Baseball Plant
The stigma of female flowers in Baseball Plants becomes receptive during the pollination phase.

Pollination of Baseball Plant Flowers

During spring or summer, the plant produces flowers in individual plants and lures pollinators like bees and butterflies.

After a successful pollination course, the female flowers will transform into exploding 3-seeded capsules (rarely 4) within 6 weeks that shoot the seeds far away after they mature. 

However, to catch the seeds, you can cover the top of the plant top containing capsules with a stocking or net after the pods appear. 

You can also use a thin-bristled brush to hand-pollinate the blooms by collecting the pollen from male flowers and rubbing it on the receptive stigma of the female flower.

Learn the ways to pollinate the blooms of Baseball Plants from the video!

How To Germinate Baseball Plant Seeds?

If you want to germinate the seeds, sow them in moist sandy soil about 1-2 mm deep, top with a thin layer of sand, and keep them in the fridge for 4-6 weeks for cold stratification.

After, keep the seeds in a warm sunny location with a soil temperature between 70°F and 75°F.

Although the seeds take 4-12 weeks to germinate, the new seedlings may take 5-8 years to mature and bear flowers.

From Editorial Team

Beware of Baseball Plant’s toxic sap!

The milky latex of Baseball Plants is toxic to humans and pets.

Although the flowering peduncle of the Baseball Plant falls on its own after seed dispersal, always protect yourself from its sap while deadheading the blooms.