Euphorbia, commonly known as the crown of thorns, is a succulent, woody shrub with light green fleshy leaves, discrete flowers in racemes that are pointed by striking bracts in the shape of yellow or red petals and thick black spines (up to 1/2-inch long) that cover its water-retaining stems and branches.
Euphorbia is a genus of over 1, 600 species in the Euphorbiaceae family. The common name refers to the notion that the crown of thorns worn at the crucifixion by Jesus Christ was crafted from this plant’s stem.
However, historical attestation indicates that this native of Madagascar may have been brought into the Middle East before the birth of Christ.
This houseplant grows up to 2 feet tall at best. The pale green, obovate leaves (up to 2 1/2 inches long) sports wedge-shaped bases. The discrete greenish flowers of this plant have no sepals or petals.
Still, they are characterized by being long-lasting, variegated, petal-shaped, yellow, or bright red bracts that are remarkably showy. The flowers bloom all year round in the tropics and subtropics, but mainly in spring and summer.