Euphorbia milii (Crown-of-thorns or Christ Plant) is a woody, succulent species of Euphorbia native to Madagascar. The species name commemorates Baron Milius, once governor of Réunion, who introduced the species to France in 1821. It is suspected that the species was introduced to the Middle East in ancient times, and legend associates it with the crown of thorns worn by Jesus.
It is a succulent climbing shrub growing to 1.8m tall, with densely spiny stems, the straight, slender spines up to 3 cm long, which help it scramble over other plants. The leaves are found mainly on new growth, and are obovate, up to 3.5 cm long and 1.5 cm broad. The flowers are small, subtended by a pair of conspicuous petal-like bracts, variably red, pink or white, up to 12 mm broad. The sap is moderately poisonous.
Photographed in English Garden in Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Canon XSi with 75-300mm lens and Kenko extension tubes, f/8, 1/250sec, ISO-200, 300mm focal length.