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Euphorbia caput-medusae L.

Medusa’s head

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderMalpighialesA broad group encompassing 16,000 species
FamilyEuphorbiaceaeEuphorbia or spurge family
GenusEuphorbiaAn extremely diverse-looking genus of mostly tropical and subtropical succulent plants. For Euphorbus, corpulent Greek physician of Juba II, King of Mauretania. Literally, “euphorbia” means “well-fed”

About plant names...

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Euphorbia fructuspini Mill.

Euphorbia parvimamma Boiss.

Euphorbia geminata (Aiton) Marloth ex A.C.White, R.A.Dyer & B.Sloane [Illegitimate]

Euphorbia caput-medusae var. major Aiton

Medusea fructus-pini Haw.

Euphorbia medusae Panz.

Medusea major Haw.

Euphorbia tessellata (Haw.) Steud.

Euphorbia caput-medusae var. geminata Aiton

Medusea tessellata Haw.

Euphorbia commelinii DC.


Euphorbia caput-medusae description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Euphorbia caput-medusae (Medusa’s head)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, Cali­fornia