Euphorbia milii Des Moul.
Euphorbia splendens var. milii
Crown of Thorns
The crown of thorns looks more like a rose bush on steroids than a cactus-like euphorbia, but a euphorbia it is. This red-flowering native of Madagascar is not found in the wild in North America (although it may be becoming naturalized in Florida). Cultivars of this plant are popular as house plants, with flowers (really modified leaves) that are pink, yellow, white, and orange, as well as red.
Identification: This climbing shrub grows to 6' (1.8 m) tall, spewing densely spine-covered branches in every direction. The randomly curving branches are in search of other plants, which the shrub uses to support itself as it grows. Branches are dark and woody, not the green cactus-like color of many euphorbias. Flowers (actually bracts) are scarlet red.
Edibility: Poisonous All euphorbias can cause dermatitis and are poisonous when ingested.
Euphorbia milii on the Weekend Gardener
Euphorbia milii on FLORIDATA
Euphorbia milii on Wikipedia
Euphorbia milii on Desert-tropicals.com
Euphorbia milii on Forest and Kim Starr’s Starr Environmental site
Euphorbia milii at the Miami-Dade County/University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Euphorbia milii description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.
Range: Zones 9b-10: