Friday, September 18, 2009
Wild Poinsettia - Elizabeth Smith
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