Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wild Poinsettia

 Two or three years ago I found a wild poinsettia growing beside the road. I pulled it up, took it home, and planted it in my flower bed. Maybe I should not have done that. In the beginning the poor plant seemed to struggle and I tried to help it along by giving it extra water when it was dry. The next year there was one more measly tiny plant a few inches from the original. I wished the 8 inch tall plants would grow a little better.
 This year, after a rainy spring these flowers are popping up all over my flower bed. The tallest is about 2 feet tall. They are very pretty, providing dots of color and clear green foliage, but their numbers have started to worry me.
 I found out that my lovely little wild poinsettia's name is Euphorbia cyathophora, a member of the spurge family, a family well known for at least one invasive member (leafy spurge). Spurges have milky sap that irritates some people, but overall, we know there is little to fear from poinsettia. There are several other species that are used and enjoyed for their exotic looks by the horticultural trade.
 I guess I will let these grow and try to dispose of some of them before they go to seed and take over the whole bed. They are pretty.

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