I let myself buy a plant from work yesterday, on account of the pretty crappy week I've just had. (Some people eat comfort food; I buy comfort plants.) And although there have been a few different plants at work talking to me lately (among them a very nice, black-purple Neoregelia with greenish spots that's just a little too enormous and expensive for me right now. Which means I don't get the Neoregelia until I need to make up for a week with three Emergency Room visits, I guess.), this is the one I went with:
I know: this looks neither new nor consoling. And you're half right,
at least: I already had a similar plant called Euphorbia grandicornis, which I've written a profile about previously. It's actually possible that this is a second specimen of E. grandicornis, or that my original "E. grandicornis" was in fact something else, perhaps E. breviarticulata or E. pseudoburuana. There really should be a service. Tellmewhatspeciesofplantihave.com or something. You send pictures in to the site, and a few hours later a team of highly-trained but embarrassingly under-employed plant taxonomists e-mails you back an ID.
EDIT: I now believe the original plant to be E. pseudocactus, though that could change.
Probably not a terribly lucrative idea: there are already places where you can have that done for free, like the Garden Web Name That Plant! Forum. Though if I may say, sometimes the quality of the resulting guesses is kind of, er, crappy. It'd be worth a few bucks to have people looking at it who had some expertise in the area.
Anyway. It's also not really a normal mental image for consolation, either. I think consolation, and mostly what comes to mind are mothers and fuzzy blankets and warm chocolate-based foods. Plants that look like they want to tear you apart with their thorns and then suck you up with their roots are way down there on the comfort list for most people, somewhere after salmonella and Dick Cheney.
I really don't understand this love for the Euphorbias. I mean, it's like I'm not interested in a plant unless it can hurt me in some way: either by stabbing, or cutting, burning, or poisoning. The worrisome possibility is that I'm expressing a death wish in a really (really) roundabout way; the happy possibility is that this is what counts as thrill-seeking for me. Some people skydive; I buy a Pachypodium. There are arguments to be made in both directions.
In any case. Sharp objects, new plants, taxonomic investigation to be done: yesterday was pretty good.