Euphorbia hamata, commonly known as deerhorn and in Afrikaans as beesmelkbos (steer milk bush) or olifantsmelkbos (elephant milk bush), is a low-growing succulent shrub up to 45 cm in height.
It spreads its many scraggly, twisted stems strongly to become well broader than tall. The roots are thick, tuber-like.
The species is distributed in the west of southern Africa from Malmesbury and Hoedjies Bay in the Western Cape to the Richtersveld in the Northern Cape where the plants are common and further northwards to Lüderitz in Namibia. This photo was taken in Goegap during August.
The habitat of the plant is quartzite gravel on rocky hillsides in arid areas receiving a little winter rain. It is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
Cattle are apparently fond of browsing these bushes, hence the beesmelkbos common name. It must be very long ago that the last elephant walked the land where the olifantsmelkbos grows, so the reason for that name is unclear (Frandsen, 2017; Smith and Crouch, 2009; Le Roux, et al, 2005; iNaturalist; http://llifle.com; http://redlist.sanbi.org).