Saturday, April 07, 2007

Crown of Thorns

Euphorbia Milii (formerly Euphorbia splendens)
Euphorbus - The Greek physician of King Juba II (about 50 BC to 19 AD) of Numidia (present day Algeria). King Juba II was the first person to find a succulent-type Euphorbia, and he named it after his physician.
Milii - named for Baron Milius, once governor of the island of Bourbon, who introduced the species into cultivation in France in 1821.
splendens - The older species name means splendid.
The common names allude to the legend that the crown of thorns worn by Christ at the time of his crucifixion was made from stems of this plant. Interestingly, the stems of this plant are pliable and can be intertwined into a circle. There exists substantial evidence that the species, native to Madagascar, had been brought to the Middle East before the time of Christ.
It is such a beautiful succulent, requiring full sun and little water. I received my first one (I have two) from my co-workers about 6 years ago. It drops all its leaves if it gets too cold, but always greens back out, blooming constantly!
May God Bless All this glorious Easter Holiday!

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