flower stems which have become woody and remained on the plant to give protection. Third, the euphorbias have a curious and complicated inflorescence utterly unlike the simple and showy cactus bloom. The euphorbia blossom is actually a cluster of flowers called a cyathium (sy-ath'-ee-um). It consists of a cup. formed by the fusion ofseveral bracts, within which are contained several diminutive male flowers and a single female flower. In some species the male and female flowers occupy separate cyathia or even grow on separate plants. Unfortunately these delightfully intricate blooms are usually inconspicuous, as the bracts are small, dull green or yellow; but occasionally they may be large and brilliantly colored, as in the Crown of Thorns, E. splendent, or the Poinsettia, where the whole inflorescence looks like a single flower. And, finally, the fruit of the euphorbias is usually a three-lobed capsule, each lobe with a single seed, and it bursts explosively when ripe.
It is obviously impossible to set down here all the hundreds of species, varieties, and forms of succulent euphorbias known to collectors. But ii may help to survey briefly some of the more popular and interesting kinds for the beginner.
Of the dwarf species the mosl in teres line are those which have a strong main stem buried in the soil from which springs a twisting, swirling head of spineless, snaky branches a foot or more in length. Perhaps the most popular of these is the Snake's Head Euphorbia, E. caput-medusae, whose writhing, snakelike branches recall the serpent hair of Medusa in Greek mythology. Somewhat similar and equally popular are E. bergeri and £. inermis.
Another group oi dwarf euphorbias somewhai like the Living Rock and Star Cacti in appearance, is the perfectly globular species. Here we find the tiny round branches of E. globosa, which grow in large mats on the surface of the soil and are about the size of marbles. And here too is the very popular E. obesa, a perfectly hard, rounded, spineless
plant about eight inches in height whose angled ribs, curiously striped and shaded, have won for it the descriptive name Basket Ball Euphorbia. Very similar and equally popular are E. meloformh and E. vaiicia, but they develop very stout, branched flower stalks which become woody after flowering and persist. All these species, except E. globosa, are dioecious (dy-ee'-shus), that is, their male and female flowers are borne on separate plants.
Even more cactus-like in appearance are a number of low cylindrical species led off by ihe ever popular Corn Cob Euphorbia. E. mammiilaris. The eight-inch branches of this curious plant form clusters that look for all the world like spiny green corn cobs. No less deserving of its name is £ horrida; whose deeply grooved and ribbed stems display a fierce array of thorns that any Barrel Cactus might envy, And one other cylindrical species commands our interest, E bupleurifolia. For a greater part of the year this euphorbia ¡looks like a small fir cone, because its thick stem is covered spirally with knobs which are old leaf bases; then in spring it produces a beautiful topknot of narrow leaves, and is transformed for a while into a perfect little pineapple, hence its popular name. Pineapple Euphorbia A slender version of this plant is found in E\ clandestinely whose very erect two* foot stems are affectionately called the Soldier.
The last and largest group of succu! ent euphorbias we must consider are those large shrubby or treelike species which have angled stems and prominent spines, generally held in pairs. While marn of these are naturally useless to the collector because of their great size, uninteresting form, or vicious armor, there remain a large number of extremely attractive» slow-growing species that can be included as small plants in any collection.
Of the shrubby species one might select at random such fine plants as £, pseudocactus for the distinctive yellow-green marking* on its stems; the Devil's Club, E. cereiformiw for
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