Euphorbia milii

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Euphorbia milii
Euphorbia Milii flowers.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: E. milii
Binomial name
Euphorbia milii
Des Moul.

Euphorbia milii (crown of thorns, Christ plant, Christ thorn) is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family Euphorbiaciae, native to Madagascar. The species name commemorates Baron Milius, once Governor of Réunion, who introduced the species to France in 1821.[1] It is suspected that the species was introduced to the Middle East in ancient times, and legend associates it with the crown of thorns worn by Christ.[1]


It is a succulent climbing shrub growing to 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) tall, with densely spiny stems. The straight, slender spines, up to 3 cm long, help it scramble over other plants. The leaves are found mainly on new growth,[1] and are obovate, up to 3.5 cm long and 1.5 cm broad. The flowers are small, subtended by a pair of conspicuous petal-like bracts, variably red, pink or white, up to 12 mm broad.[2] The sap is moderately poisonous.[citation needed] Wat Phrik in Thailand claims to be the home of the world's tallest Christ plant.[3]

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[4]


E. milii is a variable species, and several varieties have been described; some of these are treated as distinct species by some authors.[2]

Euphorbia milii in Pakistan



  1. ^ a b c Ombrello, Dr T., Crown of Thorns, Plant of the Week, UCC Biology Department, retrieved 1 October 2009 
  2. ^ a b Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. ISBN 0-333-47494-5
  3. ^
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Euphorbia milii". Retrieved 7 July 2013.