Barbados Blooms: Crown of Thorns13th March, 2013
The Crown of Thorns, scientifically known as Euphorbia Milii, is a woody, spiny, climbing succulent shrub with shoots reaching a height of six (6) feet. Leaves are found primarily on young growth, and the plant may defoliate completely if put under moisture or temperature stress. The plant, flowers nearly all year, however in winter it is particularly admirable. The flowers are small and inconspicuous – “what?!” you must be thinking. No, those red components you see are, in fact, modified leaves or rather, bracts. Most Crown of Thorns plants in cultivation have red bracts. A variety with yellow bracts exists, however they are not very popular.The name Crown of Thorns is said to have come about due to legend that the stem of the Crown of Thorns was in fact the stem that made the ‘crown of thorns’ which was worn by Jesus before his crucifixion. It may seem unlikely by simple observation, however the stems of this plant are pliable and can be intertwined into a circle.
Although the Crown of Thorn originated in Madagascar, it made its way to the Caribbean and due to our ideal climate, flourished!