We had to rid our garden of several exotic cacti when we arrived – all too large for a previous collector to remove and definitely not child-friendly with all those spikes around! A row of Christ Thorn (Euphorbia milii) lined the front path, their scarlet flowers reminding me of gardens I frequented in my youth, when these plants were very popular. Over the last few decades we have planted numerous indigenous trees and as they have grown and created shade, these Christ Thorns withered so that I was sure we were going to lose them altogether.

Now that the drought has thinned out the vegetation and halted the spring flush of new leaves; now that there is no deep filtering of the sunlight, they are thriving once more and providing a tiny splash of colour in an otherwise fairly colourless garden. They need full sun to grow well and have certainly proved to be drought tolerant.

I need to don some thick gloves to move them to a better spot for, given good growing conditions, they flower for much of the year. These plants are native to Madagascar and have found their way around the world because of their suitability for growing in pots as well as in gardens – and the fact that they need little water to survive.

10 thoughts on “CHRIST THORN

  1. Ah I didn’t realise they were from Madagascar- thanks Anne! And if they’re not on the list of invasive aliens, I’m tempted to put in a few.


    • I admire the tenacity of gardeners in your part of the world: digging up plants to keep indoors during the winter, tending them and then replanting outdoors in the spring. Apart from the drought years – and these do not last forever – we are fortunate not to have to do so.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We have many of them in our garden, courtesy the previous resident. During the rainy season the cacti have more leaves, in summer not so much.


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