Friday, September 18, 2009

Wild Poinsettia - Elizabeth Smith

Wild poinsettia, originally uploaded by Elizabeth Smith.

Wild Poinsettia
Poinsettia cyathophora
Euphorbia or spurge family

Another one of my favorite weeds, Wild Poinsettia grows in moist disturbed areas and pinelands, this one at the bottom of a chain link fence that borders a bike path and the back of a golf course. The golf course used to be a pine flatwoods habitat, and they kept the pines around the edges, but they spray herbicide nearly every year to keep the bike path from getting overgrown with weeds. These stands of Wild Poinsettia die back, but they return every summer. I’m glad I got to paint them before they disappeared.

The genus name Poinsettia honors Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Ambassador to Mexico.  The species name cyathophora is from the Greek Cyathodes, meaning a small cup or urn, cup-bearing. I think the flowers do look like a collection of little cups.  It’s related to our beloved Christmas poinsettia, which is poisonous as well, and both have the milky sap that is characteristic of many Euphorbias.

Clicking on the image above will allow you to see it larger on my Flickr photostream.

~ Elizabeth Smith,Naples, FL, USA


  1. What a beautiful job on this!!! Love it.

  2. Stunning, Elizabeth! The leaves look like they can jump off the page!

  3. Elizabeth! This is so beautifully done! I've seen some of these wild poinsettias when I lived in SC .. but I swear yours!!! are even more beautiful! GRAND JOB!

  4. Gorgeous, Elizabeth! I remember the first time I saw these, and was've really captured the growth pattern and color!

  5. Thank you everyone! They are pretty cool plants.

  6. wow I have some of these growing here in Mauritania, I've had them in a pot and have mooved them to a garden didn't know they we're a weed!


We'd love to hear from you, your questions, comments, observations! Please feel free to comment, feedback is important to us.