Euphorbia stellispina survives and thrives on arid land. The photo shown here was taken in January. The plant’s name is derived from the star-shape of the spines: Stella meaning star and spina meaning spine in Latin. The genus name has a quite illustrious origin: King Juba II of Numidia and Mauretania in the first century AD, a Berber and ally of the Romans, happened to be a learned man and author of many works in Latin or Greek on subjects including history, geography, archaeology and more.
One of his writings, a treatise on the virtues of a spurge of the Atlas Mountains names the plant Euphorbia in honour of his personal physician, Euphorbus. (An earlier Euphorbus was a hero from the battle of Troy, mentioned by Homer in the Iliad.) The plant described by the King, Euphorbia obtusifolia subspecies regis-jubae, retains this link still today in its name (Wikipedia).