Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Triangular Spurge (Euphorbia antiquorum)


Triangular Spurge (Euphorbia antiquorum) is a small succulent tree, usually shrub-like, with plentiful white sap. Wide spread throughout peninsular India, it can be found growing up to an altitude of 800 m. One of the largest armed tree Euphorbias with an average height of 5-7 m, it has been known to attain gigantic proportions if left undisturbed. Older stems cylindrical, with brownish bark; younger branches smooth, green, distinctly 3-4 angled, distinctly articulate with the segments 6-30 by 2-5 cm, drying greenish, with shallow to hardly narrowed sinuses between the spine-shields. Spine-shields in rows, shallow, 1.5-2 cm apart, spines in pairs, 4-6 mm long, blackish, persistent. The flower structures are called cyathia. Cyathium is an inflorescence consisting of a cup like cluster of modified leaves enclosing a female flower and several male flowers. Yellow cyathia can be in triads or 3-4 individual together. They are full of honey that attract bees. Seed capsules turn deep red on maturity. The odour of its latex is pungent and lingering. Easily propagated from seed or vegetatively, this Euphorbia is common in collections and easy to grow. Vasant M. Salim.

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