Sunday, January 16, 2011
Here is another Euphorbia. This one is blooming now in the Arid House at the UC Botanical Garden. I love the spines that form several helices. I have read that it is easier for a plant to spiral as it grows, because getting each level exactly in line with the last is difficult. The spines have a different origin in cactus than in euphorbs. Cactus spines are modified leaves. Euphorb spines are modified stipules (tiny bits of green at the base of a leaf. Look for them sometime when you are near a plant.)
The flowers on this plant are also completely different than cactus flowers. These flowers have a green funnel for a flower. Cactus flowers have many petals and are usually brightly colored. Check my post from a couple of days ago for an example.
I think this plant is special because of the umbrella of leaves and the flowers that stick out the top. Different from anything I have seen before.