Info

watering and protection from frost. Careful watering is per* haps most important as these plants are very susceptible to rot during their resting period. Those thick-stemmed species which renew their leaves annually, like Kleinia articulaia, usually rest in summer after their leaves have fallen; species with persistent leaves, like Kleinia (amentosa, usually rest during the winter Water must therefore be applied sparingly during these dormant periods. While most members of this family may be raised from seed, the preferred method of propagation is by stem cuttings, which root very easily throughout the growing season.

The Euphorbia Family—The Euphorbiaceae

Of the two hundred or more genera in the immense family Euphorbiaceae (eu-four-bi-ay'-see-ee) only one is of great interest to succulent collectors, the genus Euphorbia (eu-four'-bi-ah). With more than a thousand species scattered over the entire world, it contains most of the succulent plants in the family. But it must be remembered that not all the euphorbias are succulent. Many are common weeds in our fields and byways; others, familiar annuals, like the Mexican Fire Plan, E heterophylla; or Snow on the Mountain, E. marginal a; still others, perennial shrubs or trees, like the popular Christmas Poinseltia, E. pulcherrima.

It is interesting to note that almost all the euphorbias of Europe and America are "normal" plants, while those of southern Asia and Africa are succulents. Thus the best known of all euphorbias, the Crown of Thorns, E. splendens, is a slender, spiny .shrub from Madagascar whose brown half-woodv branches bear a few leaves at their tips and clusters of flowers with bright scarlet bracts from spring till fall. Still more clearly succulent are the shrubby species £ dregeana and E mauritanica from South Africa, whose slender, wandlike stems bear no spines, only transient leaflets, and often form

0 0

Post a comment