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Euphorbia caput-medusae

 

Medusa’s Head

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderMalpighialesA broad group encompassing 16,000 species
FamilyEuphorbiaceaeEuphorbia or spurge family
GenusEuphorbiaAn extremely diverse-looking genus of mostly tropical and subtropical succulent plants. For Euphorbus, corpulent Greek physician of Juba II, King of Mauretania. Literally, “euphorbia” means “well-fed”
Speciescaput-medusaeCaput is a form of the words capitis or capitulum for “head or head-like,” and Medusa, the mythic monstrous figure, one of the three Gorgons, whose hair was living snakes and whose gaze could turn people to stone

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Euphorbia caput-medusae description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 13 Jun 2010.

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Euphorbia caput-medusae (Medusa’s Head)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA