What’s Blooming This Month: February

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Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)

The common names have alluded that the crown of thorns worn by Christ at the time of his crucifixion was made from stems of this plant. They are pliable and can be intertwined into a circle.

It’s a native to Madagascar, and thought to have been brought to the Middle East before the time of Christ. It is a woody, spiny, climbing succulent shrub.

This plant is suitable for growing indoors. Allow cut surface to callous over before planting. Collect seeds when flowers fade.  Allow pods to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds. 

Drought tolerance has made it a favorite of landscapers and homeowners wanting to conserve water. Salt tolerance has made it a useful shrub for landscapes near bodies of salt water, as many Florida landscapes are. 

When working with crown of thorns you need to be reminded to wear gloves. Not only are the spines a menace to the non-gloved hand, but the plant produces a poisonous milky sap that can irritate the skin. If sap gets on your hands, rinse it off immediately. Visit our grounds at 1131 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota. Or visit our website at sarasotagardenclub.org   

Siesta Sand
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