the plant, but the milky juice is often dangerously poisonous or caustic and may cause serious injuries if it reaches the eyes, the mouth, or an open cut.
Euphorbias with branching stems are easily propagated by cuttings ai the start of the growing season, i hey are sometimes slow to root, however, unless the excess milk which coagulates at the cut end is washed off in water and the cutting set on a shelf to dry for a few days, Cuttings of lateral branches from E. caput medusae and its relatives present a special! problem, as they sometimes continue to grow in length and fail to form (heir characteristic head To correct this the rooted cutlirig must be cut back again close to the ground, at which time ii will produce new shoots showing the typical "caput" form.
Some species such as E. mehformis can be propagated by offsets: but others. like E. obesa, which make neither branches nor offsets, can be propagated only by seed. Actually most euphorbias are quickly and easily raised from seed, but care should be taken to isolate or bag the seeding plants to prevent chance hybridization, and to cover the explosive capsule with a small cloth or paper sack to catch the ripe seeds.
Occasionally euphorbias that are especially rare, delicate, or weakened from loss of roots or decay are propagated by grafting. Either a flat or cleft graft is used, and E. mammil-laris or the heavier E. cereiformis serve as understocks. As with cuttings, the milky sap is best washed from the scion and scraped gently from (he cut portion of the understock to insure a clean fit.
The Lily Family—The Liliaceae
It is not surprising that the vast Lily family, which has given us so many valuable plants, from onions and asparagus to tulips and lilies, should also provide us with a remarkable group of succulents, These are contained in three popular
genera, all of them leaf succulents and all natives of Africa.
The Genus Aloe. Certainly the most important succulents in the Lily family are found in the genus Aloe (al'-ohj, which is native principally to South Afnca. The aloes are all leaf succulents: that is. their thick, fleshy, pointed leaves are arranged spirally to form short rosettes—either with or without a stem, This has caused some people to confuse them with the American agaves, or Century Plants. But while there is a superficial resemblance, the agaves belong to the Amarvl-lis family, and have tough, fibrous leaves quite distinct from the soft, pulpy leaves of the aloes. It is simply another case of parallel development, for the aloes are to the Eastern Hemisphere what the agaves are to the West.
Among the nearly two hundred species of aloes we can find liny siemless plants only an inch o: two high climbing and trailing forms, huge clustering shrubs, and giant treelike specimens fifty feet high. However, the aloes are not prized for these interesting plants alone, but for their magnificent flowers.
From October to April the South African veldt is aflame with aloe blooms. They rise from the plants in simple "redhot pokers" or in great branched candelabras bearing hundreds of brilliant orange, red. or yellow tubular blossoms. And wherever the aloes have become established they still keep their blooming season. It is spring and summer in South Africa, but fall and winter in the West—a time when we most need bright color in our homes and gardens.
Because of their handsome form and spectacular bloom the aloes have been popular plants in the Mediterranean area since ihe eighteenth century Ornale containers with latse specimen aloes have been traditional decorative pieces on balconies and terraces, and thousands of plants have escaped cultivation to become completely naturalized along the Riviera.
But actually aloes were known in Greek and Roman times.
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