Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Random plant event: Euphorbia leuconeura

I posted about three months ago about having received some Euphorbia leuconeura plants.

They weren't seedlings or anything, but they were small enough, considering how big I knew they can get, that I wasn't expecting anything much to happen with them for quite a while.

Now, a mere three months later, I'm seeing the first flowers, which for some reason surprised me, even though I've seen pictures of the flowers before. I'd just forgotten. I was maybe also surprised by the flowers because they're unusual for Euphorbias: most of the Euphorbias in cultivation that I've seen either have small yellow or yellow-green flowers (e.g. E. grandicornis) or relatively big, showy bracts (E. pulcherrima, E. milii). This doesn't look like either of those. In fact, I kind of question whether this should be a Euphorbia at all.

I mean, no doubt it is. The taxonomists have their reasons. But it's an odd bird.

The advent of the flowers means that I will soon have seeds: E. leuconeura is self-fertile. The plant ejects the seeds explosively, though, so if I want to collect seeds, I'll have to put the plants in plastic bags or something. No doubt this will happen eventually.


Paul said...

Ah, yes. A "weed". Not only do the seeds wind up every where, they sprout readily in just about any pot in which they land. Can actually become a nuisance in many plant collections.

so if I want to collect seeds, I'll have to put the plants in plastic bags or something

"Or something" would be better. heh Easiest method is to gentle wrap/mound a bit of cheese clothe or cotton batting around the seed capsule as it is forming. Prevents the seeds from flying all over the place while still allowing the plant to "breath".

Claude said...

That is an unusual bloom for a Euphorbia, but, to be blunt, I don't have enough experience with the genus to really speak with any authority. Interesting tho

mr_subjunctive said...


Neither do I, but that doesn't stop me from questioning. I figure if taxonomists were any good at their jobs, I would only have had to learn one botanical name for coleus.

Nick said...

There are a bunch of Euphorbs with flowers like this - E. viguieri has similar red flowers on stems, there is another but the name escapes me at the moment. These are all related to E. millii (section Lacanthis) and have some degree of inter-fertility. I have these popping up in pots everywhere after mine started to flower - i never seem to get to the seeds in time to collect them.