Cacti and succulents, Perennials
Diverse genus of about 2,000 species, ranging from small flowery annuals to sculptural trees. The flower is technically a cyathium, consisting of fused bracts that form a cup around the much-reduced true flowers. Cyathia may appear singly or in clusters. In some cases, as with poinsettia (E. pulcherrima), additional bracts below provide most of the color. The fruit is usually a dry capsule that releases seeds explosively, shooting them up to several feet away. Many euphorbias are succulents; these often mimic cacti in appearance and are as diverse in form and size.
All euphorbias have milky white sap that is irritating on contact or toxic if ingested (degree of irritation or toxicity varies, depending on the species). Before using cut flowers in arrangements, dip stems in boiling water or hold in a flame for a few seconds to prevent sap bleed. All need well-drained soil.
Succulent perennial in Zone 24, or indoor/outdoor plant. South African native forms a solid, fleshy, gray-green sphere (or short cylinder) to 8 in., with brownish horizontal stripes and brown dots that outline vertical ridges. Flowers are unimportant. Give bright light, warmth, no sudden temperature changes. Little to moderate water; keep dryish in winter.
Many plants bear the hard-shelled fruits we call gourds. One of the most commonly planted is Cucur...
Chinese native is a splendid cut flower and an effective bedding plant when well grown and free of dis...
Mediterranean native to 2 1/2 ft. tall and 1/2 ft. wide. Bears so-called everlasting flowers, with dai...