Euphorbia punicea Sw.
Crimson Euphorbia, Flame of Jamaica, Jamaican Poinsettia, Scarlet-flowered Spurge, Vegetable Leather, West Indian Spurge
Adenorima punicea, Euphorbiodendron puniceum, Poinsettia punicea, Tithymalus puniceus
Euphorbia punicea is an attractive plant with semi-succulent, greenish to very pale brown branches with prominent leaf scars and clusters of dark green leaves at the ends. It can grow as a bush or tree to 10 feet (3 m) or sometimes even 32.8 (10 m) tall.
The small yellow cyathia (false flowers) are surrounded by large, showy red or salmon bracts. They usually appear from Christmas until midsummer. The fruits are oblong capsules with tiny black seeds inside.
USDA hardiness zone 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Euphorbias are very easy to care for. They require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. In fact, more die from too much care and watering than from neglect.
Euphorbias need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight. They are not particular about soil pH but cannot tolerate wet soil. Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well. It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water whenever the soil is dry severe inches below the surface. Water deeply, but don't let them sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot. Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed them with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.
Euphorbia can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). It is usually propagated by cuttings. This can be tricky because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.
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