HomeCactus & Succulents10 Beautiful Types of Devil's Backbone Plants

10 Beautiful Types of Devil’s Backbone Plants

Besides the scientific name, many plants share a common title. Do you want to know the Types of Devil’s Backbone Plants? Read on!

The Devil’s Backbone Plant or Pedilanthus tithymaloides looks quite distinct with the zigzag stems. This plant is native to North and Central America’s subtropical regions. Know all the Types of Devil’s Backbone Plants in our compiled list. 

Check out the Stunning Succulents with Red Flowers here

Types of Devil’s Backbone Plants

Although it is often referred to as Pedilanthus tithymaloides, the Pedilanthus genus is now merged into the Euphorbia genus. Here is a list of Types of Devil’s Backbone Plants.

1. Jacob’s Ladder

Types of Devil's Backbone Plants

Botanical Name: Polemonium caeruleum

Jacob’s Ladder is a perennial, hardy flowering plant that produces blue or white, cup-shaped flowers. It is native to Europe and known for its leaf pattern that resembles a ladder. 

2. ZigZag plant


Botanical Name: Pedilanthus tithymaloides

The ZigZag plant is an ornamental shrub with plump, succulent zigzag stems. It produces slipper-shaped, red flowers in clusters towards the top of the stems. 

3. Redbird Cactus Flower

Types of Devil's Backbone Plants 2

Botanical Name: Euphorbia tithymaloides ‘Redbird Cactus’

Redbird Cactus Flower is also called Redbird Cactus though it is not a true cactus. The plant features the shape of red bird structures below the flowers. 

4. Slipper Plant


Botanical Name: Euphorbia lomelii

Slipper Plant is sometimes sold as Pedilanthus macrocarpus, its old name. With light green, succulent, upright stems, the stems grow out of a woody root crown up to 2-3 feet tall. 

5. Wild Poinsettia

Types of Devil's Backbone Plants 4

Botanical Name: Euphorbia heterophylla

This erect shrub is native to subtropical and tropical regions of Central and North America. With white and green leaves and red flowers in summer, this evergreen plant flaunts unusual zigzag stems to look like a crooked backbone with ribs. 

Check out the Best Euphorbia Varieties here

6. Devil’s Ribcage Plant


Botanical Name: Euphorbia tithymaloides ‘Devil’s Ribcage’

This distinct-looking succulent is an exciting plant that blooms in green, pink, white, or red shades. It resembles a ribcage and produces flowers in the shape of shoes.

7. Japanese Poinsettia


Botanical Name: Euphorbia tithymaloides ‘Japanese Poinsettia’

The Japanese Poinsettia is an evergreen shrub with glossy green-pink leaves edged in white or deep pink. The plant’s stem resembles a crooked backbone and bears beautiful pink-red flowers in summer in the right growing conditions.

Want to Grow Poinsettia as a Tree? Get the Best Tips here

Devils Backbone’s Cousins

The below four plants are popular as the cousins of Devil’s Backbone.

8. Crown of Thorns


Botanical Name: Euphorbia milii

A stunning succulent with bright green leaves and red, orange, yellow, pink, or white bracts, the Crown of Thorns is a great houseplant that blooms most months of the year.

Learn about Growing Crown of Thorns here

9. African Milk Tree

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Botanical Name: Euphorbia trigona

Also called the Cathedral Cactus and the Friendship Cactus, the African Milk Tree is a unique succulent with ridged stems that bear thorns and tear-shaped leaves, giving it an exotic look.

Want to Grow African Milk Tree Cactus? Click here

10. Pencil Cactus

Botanical Name: Euphorbia tirucalli

The Pencil Cactus, also called the Milk Bush, is a shrub with clusters of stems that are as thick as a pencil. The plant also bears oval leaves and is a beauty. However, the plant is toxic to humans and animals as it can cause temporary blindness with its poisonous latex.

Learn about Growing Pencil Cactus here


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