Cutflower Nomenclature

Scientific/Botanical Name:

Genus: Euphorbia

Specie: E. milii


English Name:


Common Name:

Crown-of-thorns or Christ Plant

Botanical Family:

Name in Latin: Euphorbiaceae

Name in English: Spurge family

The Plant

Origin: Madagascar

Growth Habit: climbing shrub growing to 1.8m tall, with densely spiny stems, the straight, slender spines up to 3 cm long, which help it scramble over other plants.

Flower: flowers are small, subtended by a pair of conspicuous petal-like bracts, variably red, pink or white, up to 12 mm broad

Blooming Period: throughout the year, heaviest in the fall.

Leaf: leaves are found mainly on new growth,[1] and are obovate, up to 3.5 cm long and 1.5 cm broad.


ornamental plant

Care and Handling

Soil: drought-tolerant, preferring slightly dry, sandy soil.

Amount of water: Allow the top 1 in (2.5 cm) of soil to dry out between waterings. Water less in winter when the plant rests. Also, avoid getting water on the leaves and stems because they can rot if they get too wet.

Nutrition: feed every 2 weeks spring through fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. In winter, feed monthly.

Special handling: Crown of Thorns flower dependably when they get enough light.

Special feature/remarks:

It is suspected that the species was introduced to the Middle East in ancient times, and legend associates it with the crown of thorns worn by Jesus