Crown of Thorns

June Holbrook

Sarasota, United States

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Artist's Description

Captured this plant in Sarasota, Florida
See the bloom uploaded before this one.

The Crown of Thorns plant is a woody, spiny, climbing succulent shrub with shoots reaching a height of 6 feet. Leaves are found primarily on young growth, and the plant may defoliate completely if put under moisture or temperature stress. Subsequent growth will bear new leaves. The plant flowers nearly all year, and especially in the winter. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, but the brightly colored modified leaves (bracts) found just beneath the flowers are quite attractive.

Euphorbia – Euphorbus was 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.

The common names allude to the legend that the Euphorbia Milii 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.

The Euphorbia Milii is a member of the family Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family). It is a large family, including such plants as the Poinsettia, Castor Bean, the rubber-bearing plants of the genus Hevea, and the Cassava (from which we get tapioca). Most members of the Spurge family, for example the Euphorbia Milii, exude a sticky white sap (latex) from any cut surface. The latex is found in special branching tubes called latex tubes.

Artwork Comments

  • pmarella
  • June Holbrook
  • Antanas
  • June Holbrook
  • Elizabeth Rodriguez
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