Young Moroccan mounds.

I hear the word “Morocco,” and I think exotic. I see bright colors and handmade earthenware pots. I see the tropics, and I see the desert.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that one of my favorite desert succulents—one which can take the full sun—is native to Morocco.

The Moroccan mound (Euphorbia resinifera) reminds me of our desert mountain peaks intermingled with canyons and jutting rocks. That’s what drew me to it in the first place.

The Moroccan mound works very well in pots. It has a mounding habit (hence the name) and grows wider as it reaches its height of up to 18 inches. Plants can be found up to 3 or 4 feet across when given the chance. It is a slow-grower, so it will do nicely in a pot.

Moroccan mounds can be planted in a low bowl pot—either as a single specimen, or in a cluster of several plants. The cluster may eventually need to be split apart, but not for a few years. In the photo below, the Moroccan mound serves as bookends to a Mexican fence post in a tall pot. They help to balance the height of both the pot and the fencepost—and give it all a sense of greater stability.

I won’t bore you (or myself) with scientific details, but I will say it’s interesting that this plant is yet another representative of the huge Euphorbia genus. We think of Euphorbias typically as succulents, but others are thought of more as flowers and perennials.

It’s amazing what nature extends to us.

Marylee Pangman is the founder and former owner of The Contained Gardener in Tucson, Ariz. She has become known as the Desert’s Potted Garden Expert. Marylee is available for digital consultations, and you can email her with comments and questions at Follow the Potted Desert at

3 replies on “The Potted Desert Garden: Meet the Moroccan Mound”

  1. I believe your winters are too cold. This plant can take temperatures down just under freezing but not what you’re experiencing right now, that’s for sure.

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