Euphorbia milii var. splendens 

(uu-for' bee-ah mill' ee-ii splen' dens)

Common name: Crown of Thorns, Christ's Thorn

Family: Euphorbiaceae, Milkweed/Spurge

Height x width: 1-3' x 2-3' (3' x 18" for species)

Growth rate: slow

Foliage: semi-prostrate to rambling habit; slender, fleshy, thorny stems 5-6 sided; bright green tough and obovate leaves 1" long

Flowers: yellow cyathia enclosed by red bracts, or other colors in variants including yellow, gold, orange

Light: full sun to bright

Temperature: warm to cool

Watering: low, allow to dry between waterings

Fertility: moderate

Humidity: low

Soil: well-drained

Pests and Problems: root rots, stem rots, aphids, mealybugs

Growth habit, uses: desert garden, flowering

Other interest: from the Latin euphorbea for Euphorbius, a Greek physician in 1AD who used the sap medicinally; native to Madagascar; milky latex sap "bleeds" when stems are cut, and can be stopped by immersing in warm water; sap may cause skin irritation or blindness; from a very large genus of over 2000 species including the popular poinsettia; supposedly the plant used for Christ's crown of thorns

Propagation: tip cuttings

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | PSS121 course