Cacti and succulents, Shrubs, Trees
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.
From tropical eastern Africa. Grown for its striking pattern of silhouette or shadow. Fast growing to a possible 30 ft. tall and 6 ft. wide, usually much smaller. Single or multiple trunks support a tangle of light green, pencil-thick, succulent branches with tiny leaves present only on actively growing tips. Flowers are unimportant. The species is tolerant of seacoast conditions. Be sure to keep milky sap away from eyes, as it can cause severe damage. As a houseplant, it thrives in driest atmosphere; needs all the light you can give it, well-drained potting mix, routine watering and fertilizing.
From India and Malaysia. One of the most popular houseplants, this is easily held to 7 ft. high and 4 ...
From tropical eastern Africa. Grown for its striking pattern of silhouette or shadow. Fast growing to ...
From India. All plant parts are strongly lemon scented and widely used as an ingredient in Southeast A...