An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

October 11, 2008

Freakish Foliage From Florida

Back in September when Hurricane Ike's path was yet to be determined, we were asked by our houseplant broker to take our fall shipment early. Just about all of the houseplants sold east of the Mississippi start life in south Florida. He was worried that if we did not take it early, we may not get it at all. Hurricane Andrew's memories burn particularly intense among the Florida foliage industry.

Included in the shipment we received was Eurphorbia lactea 'Cristata'. I have never seen this plant before and they reminded me of some sort of nudibranch. They are grafted and come in several colors. What I have since read about this plant is that it is native to India where it is used medicinally, but yet it is listed as poisonous as well. It needs to be kept in a bright sunny window and should be allowed to go completely dry between waterings. We sold several the day they came in to people using employee discounts.


  1. Wow, that is freaky. There seems to be so many different types of eurphorbias! I've never seen anything like this.

  2. That is an odd looking plant. I've never seen anything like it. Thanks for sharing Les. :)

  3. That is a neat looking plant! Love the textures.

  4. Les - Thanks SO much for your comment on Swannanoa. My husband and I happened upon some discussion board - in which many people had similar stories. I can't wait to visit this weekend! Will make sure to take photos . . . Tracey

  5. Hiya Les,

    They are totally horrid ( she said, with her usual tact).
    Know what? Just saw them in a catalogue and they charge $20 per plant for them over here. The mind boggles.
    Anyways, you are slacking: no bloomday post this month? I'd like to see your garden again. No gadding about, just some clear shots of what is where. I always like that best in blogs.At least come and see mine. It wouldn't be the same without a visit from you.

  6. Phillip,
    You are so right, there many eurphorbias and the more I see, the more I want. I am only familiar with a few of the varieties though.

    Yes they are odd, and you are welcome.

    It is very textural. Your first impulse is to reach out and touch, but they do have small thorns.

    You are welcome. I am sorry I was so long winded.

    This was a crazy week with two TV shoots, guitar lessons for the young one, turmoil at work and a nasty computer virus. On top of that I am too busy for morning light and by the time I get home, it is too dim to photograph. However, I will try to do better.


  7. Les--Have you seen Lady Greenthumb's blog? She's in Croatia, and she did a posting on Euphorbia recently (though not your freaky deaky ones)--anyway, here's the link:

    Sorry I've been MIA--they have computers in Arizona, but I don't seem to run into them much . . .

  8. Well, now how fun are these!!! I need to think more about the Euphorbias too. Wow. Cool.

  9. Freaky is right! I love the images in the post below too. I agree with Joco - surprised not see you posting at GBBD. Life does sound busy. Blogging should be fun not an extra chore, so don't feel like you need to do it. I'm an irregular GBBD poster at best.

  10. I bought one of those euphorbias in South Carolina and brought it home to Virginia. It flourished all summer outside, when it came in for the winter it didn't do well. I thought I had watered it VERY sparingly-- but it rotted none the less. Bought another (at Walmart no less!) and will be bringing it inside soon. If you have one- be forewarned...very little water!

  11. Cosmo,
    Thanks for the lead. I checked it out and have added her to my ever-expanding reader list. I am still waiting for some AZ pics.

    Thank you for stopping by.

    I appreciate the advice. Cactus and Euphorbias usually do really well for me as I tend to forget or ignore watering my houseplants. The ones I have now must be genetically superior as they have survived years of neglect on my part.

    Thanks again for visiting. Perhaps it was the guilt of not posting GBBD, the rainy day, or that my schedule permited it - but I did end up posting a tardy GBBD. Next month I'll try to be more timely.