Thursday, September 10, 2015


When I arrived at "E" I was completely stumped to find a favourite flower and the only ones I could come up with were Erica and Euphorbia, both of which I know very little about.

ERICA is a genus of approximately 860 species of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae.  The English common names "heath" and "heather" are shared by some closely related genera of similar appearance.   Erica is sometimes referred to as "winter (or spring) heath" to distinguish it from Calluna (summer of autumn heath).

Most of the Erica species are small shrubs.  All are evergreen with minute needle-like leaves 2-15mm long.  Flowers are usually outward or downward facing.  Seeds are very small and, in some species, may survive in the soil for decades.

At least 660 of the species are endemic to South Africa forming the largest genus. The remaining species are native to other parts of Africa. Madagascar, the Mediterranean and Europe.

Although I have never grown these flowers myself I am sure, over the years, I have seen them growing in gardens of family or friends.

EUPHORBIA is a very large and diverse genus of flowering plants in the spurge family.  Some are well known and widely available; some are cultivated as ornamentals, or collected and highly valued for the aesthetic appearance of their unique floral structures, i.e. the Crown of Thorns plant.

....and that was when the penny dropped.   I remember as a child my dad growing a magnificent Crown of Thorns in his shade house.  When I had been married a couple of years we had a small shade house and one of the plants I acquired was a Crown of Thorns to remind me of my dad.   I can't say it is a favourite garden plant but it is one that has a very special meaning for me.

Whilst researching the Euphorbias I have discovered there are many wonderful and varied plants, some of which are really delightful.  These are just a few of them:


  1. One quite similar to the last euphorbia thrives in our garden. To the extent that I am ruthless in uprooting its babies.
    Love the ericas too.

  2. I like the Euphorbias, there are some in the grounds here and I have nipped off a couple of tip cuttings to grow in pots. The Ericas are pretty, but I've never grown one.

  3. Hari OM
    Now that is interesting... I had a pal with the crown of thorns plant and only ever knew it by that name - and another pal who was a great fan of "euphorbia", of the type in the last photo here... and I never put the two togther... so thanks for that learning!!!

    As for ericas - adore those of course, Scotland having only the native Calluna (a single species within that >600 and I never really did figure out why it is considered one the national symbols!)

    YAM xx