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Please Identify Plant with Yellow Blooms and Stick-like Branches.

Euphorbia tirucalli

Ask the Expert: we are trying to identify this plant
This plant has stick type branches with tiny bottle like ends before the flowers. The first flowers were pink, these are yellow. Have you seen anything like this? Jim

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:
It looks like you have one of the many different culitvars of euphorbia tirucalli.

Euphorbia tiruis commonly referred to as pencil tree, firestick, finger tree, pencil euphorbia. The cultivars of euphorbia tircalli are light loving plants and need all the sun or light that you can give them. They can not tolerate freezing temperatures and therefore are used as houseplants in areas in zone 9 and above. These highly drought tolerant plants should only be watered when dry.

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Help! What Is This Thorny Houseplant??

Ask The Expert: I was given a very old plant i want to identify. It is very old I was told it is a type of Christmas cactus but I have never seen one before with thorns like a rose.  It is very pretty but driving me crazy to find out what it is and proper care for it to bloom. Thank you for your help in advance.

Flower Shop Network‘s Plant Expert Reply: Not 100% certain, but I’m pretty sure this is a Euphorbia milii also known as a crown of thorns plant or Christ plant. (If anyone has a better ID, please leave a comment!)

E. milii is a succulent shrub and can grow to be about 6.5 ft. The plant produces beautiful flowers throughout the year that can be pink, red, yellow or white.

Euphorbia milii Care & Maintenance

Place your crown of thorns plant in a warm and sunny location all year. In the summer, it can be kept outdoors, but sheltered. Water your Euphorbia milii moderately. During peak growing season, spring to fall, feed it cactus food regularly. Use cactus soil with a clay additive when re-potting. You can prune at any time.

Because of it’s hardiness, the Euphorbia milii makes a great houseplant.

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They Called It Crooked Back Cactus – What Is It?

Devils Backbone - Euphorbia tithymaloides

Ask the Expert: What is this “cactus”?
I purchased this plant at a flea market in SC and the seller called it a “Crooked Backed Cactus”. I haven’t been able to find this plant online under that name and would like to know what it is so that I can properly care for it. Melanie

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Although the plant looked familiar, I could not place it. So I passed it on to Rick Pudwell at the Memphis Botanical Garden. I knew he would know exactly what the plant is called.

According to Rick

The plant is commonly called Devil’s Backbone. Botanical name is Euphorbia tithymaloides variegatus. It is a true succulent not a cactus. Like all Euphorbias the milky sap can cause a rash or irritation to exposed skin, so be careful if using it for cut material.

So there you have it! It is a Euphorbia tithymaloide.

Thanks Rick! You always come to my rescue.

What Is This Plant With Blueish-Green Leaves?

Ask the Expert: Please can you help me identify this plant?

Euphorbia characias wulfenii

Euphorbia characias wulfenii

Hi, I walk past this garden every morning on the way to work and have watched this plant since mid-summer grow quite vigorously. I really like its look and would like to plant some in my own garden. But having searched through my RHS encyclopaedias and the Internet, I have failed to identify it. Do you have any idea what it it? The highest stems stand around a foot high and it is a slightly blueish-green in colour with a white strip running down the centre. Any help will be very much appreciated. Many thanks, John

Plant Expert Reply:

I had a good idea that the plant was some kind Euphorbia, but I need a little help to make a positive identification.  Lucky for me the great guys at the Memphis Botanic Garden came to my rescue.  The plant is mostly likely a Euphorbia characias wulfenii other wise known as Mediterranean Spurge. In full sun, this clump forming perennial produces chartreuse flowers.

Now that you know the name of the plant, you should be able to find it at a local garden center.

Flower Shop Network tips it’s hat to Rick Pudwell at the Memphis Botanic Garden for the help in identifying this plants.  Thanks Rick!

What Is This Mystery Plant Found In Pacific Northwest?

euphorbiaAsk the Expert: Can you please identify this plant
This plant showed up in my garden this spring and has grown into a bush about 2.5 ft high since then, but it never flowered.  I live in the Pacific Northwest. Joe

Plant Expert Reply:

I think it is some type of Euphorbia.  Maybe Euphorbia amygdaloides or Euphorbia myrsinites.  Where in the pacific northwest did you find this plant?  Knowing which state or city might help make a stronger identification.

Name The Evergreen Ground Cover With Yellow Flowers

Ask the Expert: I can’t identify this perennial, please help!

It is evergreen and a low ground cover in winter.  In the spring it grows
up to 18 inches and has a yellow flower.  It spreads like crazy and
transplants well.  It’s mostly in the shade where it is very moist.  Any


Euphorbia Poly Chroma Midas - Image From Erv Evans NC State University

Euphorbia Poly Chroma Midas - Image From Erv Evans NC State University

It could be a Euphorbia polychroma.  I found the picture to the left on a NC State University page about Euphorbia.  The photo was taken by Erv Evans, a consumer Horticulturist.  This plant is also known as Cushion Spurge.  Does it look similar to what you have?  This plant can take full sun or part shade.  It does have a more mounding shape when it is blooming.  The foliage has a reddish tinge in the fall.

Lamium galeobdolon - image from NC State University Erv Evans

Lamium galeobdolon - image from NC State University Erv Evans

Another option is the Lamium galeobdolon sometimes referred to as Yellow Archangel.  I found a picture of it on the NC State University page that discusses the Golden Dead Nettle (which is another name for this plant). This is a  perennial that creeps on the ground, produces yellow blooms and likes moist areas. We grow a different species of Lamium at our nursery.  It lays real flat until it starts to bloom.

Hopefully one of these plants match what you have in your garden.  If not send me a picture and I will give it another try.

Hypericum St John's Wort

Hypericum St John's Wort

Here is one of the pictures Betsy sent.  After looking at them, I think it is a form of Hypericum also known as St John’s Wort.  There are many different types of St John’s Wort so I’m not sure which one it is.  When it blooms we might be able to tell from the flower.  Since it likes the shade and a moist condition it might be Hypericum calycinum (which is called Aaron’s beard).

White Mystery Flower – What is it?

Ask the Expert: Can you please tell me the name of this flower?

I bought this plant because I loved the delicate white flowers. It had no information at all on the container, no name of the plant, what type of sun exposure or soil it prefferred…nothing, just that it was an annual. My girlfriend bought the exact same plant because she liked it so well and the same thing…no information. We are stumped, we’ve asked everyone we know and no one has a clue. Please help us with any information you can. Thanks, Kim

White Mystery Flower