Euphorbia milii

Euphorbia milii Des Moul.

Common Names: Crown of Thorns

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Habit: Euphorbia milii grows as a succulent up to 1 m in height. There are alternate leaves are clustered toward the stem tip, sessile, oblong to obovate, to 2 cm in length, with an entire margin. The stems are slightly 3-5 angled, with solitary or grouped spines along the ridges, and have a milky latex. The spines are to 3 cm in length, gray and smooth.

Euphorbia milii is dioecious. The incomplete, imperfect, monoecious, actinomorphic, are arranged in terminal cymes of cyathia.  The cymes are glabrous or with pubescent when immature. The cyathia are subtended by bright pink to red to yellow cyathophylls/bracts. There is no calyx or corolla. Staminate flowers are reduced to a single stamen.  Carpellate flowers are reduced to a single superior carpel, each with 3 locules and numerous seeds.  The glabrous fruit is a ridged capsule at maturity that splits along 3 suture lines.

Habitat: Euphorbia milii grows in Human Altered environments (yards and gardens).

Distribution: Euphorbia milii is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but occurs on most of the populated islands throughout the archipelago. It is native to Madagascar.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Euphorbia milii is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

All parts of the species are extremely toxic and should not be ingested!!

Euphorbia milii is used in the horticultural industry and there are many different cultivars that have been developed.