Sunday, April 13, 2008

Not Quite Flowers

Euphorbia anoplia ~ Tanzanian Zipper Plant

Euphorbia aeruginosa ~ False Saguaro

Euphorbia horrida ~ African Milk Barrel



In the spring, each of these Euphorbia species produces cyathia. The definition of cyathia, or the singular, cyathium, is an inflorescence with unisexual flowers, surrounded by a cup-like circle of bracts. All succulents in the Euphorbia genus produce cyathia, even E. pulcherrima, or poinsettia. The showy parts of the poinsettia are modified leaves and the center is the actual cyathia, or flower cluster.
The cyathia on all three of these Euphorbia plants have been lingering for weeks. These are not the normal showy flower photos but this is the best that these three have to offer.

16 comments:

Hootin' Anni said...

:::smiles::: I too have a few photos of a cactus today. This is my first Green Thumb Sunday. Hope you can drop by for a visit.

Jane Marie said...

I find cacti to be very strange creatures, but I like them just the same.

kate smudges said...

I didn't know this about Euphorbias. I now know that this is called 'cyathia'. (Is this the same thing with Bougainvillea and colourful bracts whilst the little flower is almost negligible?) What these plants offer, by way of cyathia, is unusual and interesting (at least to me).

Nancy J. Bond said...

The blooms are very pretty -- but some of those spines look threatening. :)

kml said...

Your cacti are just loaded with flowers! So pretty!

verobirdie said...

I agree with Nancy, they are all beautiful but the second one scares me...

mirage2g said...

Hi Aiyana! Sorry for not dropping by often. Today I had visitors and I hurriedly posted the photos with the title 'wordless' so I didnt write anything. Thanks for your kind comments always, the cactus photos are lovely macros as well...Thanks for sharing these rare beauties! Happy GTS!

Lorian said...

Very cool photos! The second photo does not look very welcoming to anyone touching it...that's for sure! It's so great to see photos of the plants native to your dry climate! Have a wonderful week!

Julie said...

Your photos are gorgeous...especially the middle one! I think these blooms are very showy and I love them! Interesting info regarding the poinsettia...I did not know that!!!
Even tho I do not participate in GTS anymore, I just happened to post 2 things of interest today! LOL. Hope your Sunday is turning out to be lovely, out there in the WEST! It has started pouring rain all into my succulent tires...yeeek...sure hope my soil is pourous enough to keep them from rotting...it is one of those long downpours!!!

annesgarden said...

Your photos are amazing, happy GTS!

Ginni Dee said...

Pic 1

Those look like beautiful little tiny roses about to open.

Pic 2

And I thought my roses had wicked thorns!!! YIKES!!

Pic 3

How lovely! Cactus always have such beatifully colored flowers!

Great shots!!

Curtis said...

Cati are one of the most exotic looking plants in nature when in their glory.

jenny said...

Thanks for visiting my green thumb sunday post. We don't have much cacti (?) here in SC, but my kids are fascinated with them.

chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

I feel dumb, I didn't know that some cactus are members of the euphorbia family. Duh. Learn something new every day.

Teresa said...

I like the top photo best. It really is easy to see why it is a 'zipper plant'. I look at your weather graphic and just marvel at the temperature. Send a little of that sunshine our way, ok?

No Rain said...

Thanks for all the GTS comments!

To answer a couple of questions:

Kate,
I don't think the flowers on the bougainvillea qualify as cyathia as the structure is different.

Chigiy,
All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. The three I've shown on today's post are all succulents in the Euphorbia genus. None are cacti.