Euphorbia pulcherrima

Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima,  Kenya; photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed as a landscape plant near Eldoret, Kenya, Africa. January 2012.

FLOWERS: The clusters of red and white leaves at the branch tips subtend the actual flowers which are small and clustered into cup-shaped structures called cyathia.

SHRUB: When sold for holiday decoration the slightly woody plants are about ½-meter tall. Given favorable growing conditions plants can reach three meters tall and wide.

LEAVES: Leaves that are not red are dark green giving the whole plant a festive appearance. Broad and with five to seven obtuse corners.

RANGE: This plant is native to Mexico and has been propagated to tropical areas around the world.

FRUIT: Each fruit capsule has three compartments containing three seeds.

UNARMED. However, the milky sap can be toxic if ingested or gotten in the eyes.

Euphorbiaceae -- Spurge Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 7 September 2012.