Euphorbia milii Des Moul.

Etymology Genus After Euphorbus, a Greek physician to the King of Mauritana
Species After M. le baron Milius, Governor of Île Bourbon, present day Reunion Island
Family Euphorbiaceae
Synonyms Euphorbia bojeri Hook., Sterigmanthe bojeri (Hook.) Klotzsch & Garcke, Tumalis bojeri (Hook.) Raf.
Common Names Crown of Thorns, Christ's Thorn, Christ's Plant
Status Exotic: Cultivated Only
Form Shrub
Native Distribution Madagascar


This attractive shrub, Euphorbia milii is commonly cultivated in home gardens. It has perpetually flowering pink or red petal-like bracts, leafy, with the stems entirely covered by thorns. Other cultivars may spot white or yellow flowers.

Interesting Facts:

From the Bible (John 19:2 NIV) "The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head...". The common names of this species, Crown of Thorns or Christ's Thorn is thus named as such, being one of the plants thought to be used to be placed on Jesus Christ's head during the events leading to his crucification. However, Musselman (2007) believed that this biblical crown of thorns was more likely made from another shrub, Sacropoterium spinous, being abundant around Jerusalem.

A tall cultivated shrub.

A pruned shorter and bushy one.


Thorny stem.



Musselman LJ (2007) Figs, Dates, Laurel, and Myrrh: Plants of the Bible and the Quran. Timber Press, USA. 336 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2018-12-08 / Modified: 2018-12-10