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Euphorbia milii ‘Lutea’

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”
SpeciesmiliiNamed for Baron Milius, once governor of Réunion, who introduced the species to France
Cultivar‘Lutea’Latin for “yellow body”

About plant names...

The natural crown of thorns looks more like a rose bush on steroids than a cactus-like euphorbia, but a euphorbia it is. The red-flowering native of Madagascar is not found in the wild in North America (although it may be becoming naturalized in Florida). The variety here is white or cream-colored. Other cultivars are pink, yellow, and orange, as well as red.

Identification: This climbing shrub grows to 4′ (1.2 m) tall, spewing densely spine-covered branches in every direction. The randomly curving branches are in search of other plants, which the shrub uses to support itself as it grows. Branches are dark and woody, not the green cactus-like color of many euphorbias. Flowers (actually bracts—modified leaves) are white.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones All euphorbias can cause dermatitis and are poisonous when ingested.

Online References:


Euphorbia milii

2/26/2012 · Joy and Jim’s, Manfield, Mass­a­chu­setts · ≈ 10 × 15″ (26 × 39 cm) ID is uncertain

Euphorbia milii

2/26/2012 · Joy and Jim’s, Manfield, Mass­a­chu­setts · ≈ 5 × 3½″ (13 × 9.2 cm) ID is uncertain

Euphorbia milii var. lutea


Euphorbia milii ‘Lutea’ description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Euphorbia milii

2/26/2012 · Joy and Jim’s, Manfield, Mass­a­chu­setts · ≈ 3½ × 5″ (9.2 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Euphorbia milii

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, Mary­land · ≈ 2 × 1′ (62 × 41 cm) ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 10-11:

About this map...