The U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory will close at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6, due to an official government function. The Conservatory will return to normal hours December 7.
Also known as the baseball plant, Euphorbia obesa is found only in the Great Karoo region of South Africa. Unsustainable harvesting by collectors and plant exporters almost resulted in the plant becoming extinct. As a result, national and international legislation have been enacted to protect the remaining populations. While Euphorbia obesa remains endangered in its native habitat, it has become very common in cultivation. By growing large numbers of this plant, nurseries and botanical gardens have been working to ensure that specimens being traded and sold among plant collectors are not obtained from the wild, thus protecting it for posterity.