Kenya Natural History Guide >>>
Euphorbiaceae >>> Crown-of-Thorns
Observed as a landscape plant near Eldoret, Kenya, Africa. January 2012.
ARMED. The white-gray stems are set with long, straight thorns.
FLOWERS: What appears to be bright red, two-lipped flowers are in fact
inflorescences of several small flowers subtended by red, petal-like bracts.
These pseudo-flowers are about 1 cm broad - even broader in some
SHRUB-VINE: The slender woody stems can clamber over other plants
vine-like with the spines helping to secure the hold. Stems can reach several
meters in length, but tend to drape downwards.
LEAVES: Smooth, oblong to lance-shaped leaves are dark green and
sometimes tinged with red. Breaks ooze milky sap.
RANGE: This plant is native to Madagascar but has been widely propagated
to tropical areas everywhere. It is tolerant of drought and lightly
FRUIT: Each fruit capsule has three compartments containing three seeds.
Euphorbiaceae -- Spurge Family
Kenya Natural History
Michael J. Plagens, Created on 6 September 2012