My entry for this week’s photo challenge is a series of photos of a fascinating plant in the Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden (RBG). It looks like something that you would never want to fall on top of. Although it has beautiful small bright pink/ red flowers that grow in either random clusters or in highly ordered patterns, its stem is well covered with mean-looking white spikes.
Thinking that the plant was a cactus because it was grown in the Succulent Garden of the RBG, I searched for its name at a cactus identification website. But, it was nowhere to be found. This spiky flowering plant seems to fit the description and pictures of Euphorbia milii the best. Euphorbia milii, better known as crown of thorns, is actually not a succulent plant, but a spiny shrub native to Madagascar. As crown of thorns has poisonous milky sap, no part of this plant could be ingested and gloves should always be worn when handling it (http://museum.gov.ns.ca/poison/?section=species&id=96).