Euphorbia Milli - Crown of Thorns or Christ Plant/ Christ Thorn
Euphorbia milii, the crown of thorns, Christ plant, or Christ thorn, is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family Euphorbiaceae, native to Madagascar. The species name commemorates Baron Milius, once Governor of Réunion, who introduced the species to France in 1821. It is imagined that the species was introduced to the Middle East in ancient times, and legend associates it with the crown of thorns worn by Christ. It is commonly used as an ornamental houseplant that can be grown in warmer climates. The common name is due to the thorns and deep red bracts referring to the crown thorn Jesus had to wear during his crucifixion and his blood.
It is a woody succulent subshrub or shrub growing to 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) tall, with densely spiny stems. The straight, slender spines, up to 3 cm (1.2 in) long, help it scramble over other plants. The fleshy, green leaves are found mainly on new growth, and are up to 3.5 cm (1.4 in) long and 1.5 cm (0.59 in) broad. The flowers are small, subtended by a pair of conspicuous petal-like bracts, variably red, pink or white, up to 12 mm (0.47 in) broad. Wat Phrik in Thailand claims to be the home of the world's tallest Christ thorn plant.The plant thrives between spring and summer but produces flowers all year round.
Mutation in Crown of thorns
The sap is moderately poisonous, and causes irritation on contact with skin or eyes. If ingested, it causes severe stomach pain, irritation of the throat and mouth, and vomiting. The poisonous ingredients have been identified as phorbol esters.It is very toxic to domesticated animals such as, horses, sheep, cats and dogs.For humans it is mildly toxic and only acts as an irritant.
Euphorbia milii has two uses:
The plant itself has proven to be an effective molluscicide and a natural alternative to pest control. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the usage of Euphorbia milii in aiding snail control.Especially in endemic countries. Schistosomiasis is an infectious disease from freshwater parasites, carried by snails. Extracts from the plant are used to control the snail population to avoid getting infected from a parasite.
Medicinal plants are very important to humans when it comes to developing drugs for ailments. In the family Euphorbiaceae, there are about 300 genera and 7,500 species that have their own unique medicinal values.