This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
Melon Spurge. Fig. 1446. Globose or pyriform, 3-5 in. thick, deeply 8-10-ribbed; ribs obscurely tuberculate on the almost acute angles; sides transversely dark and light green-striped, or wrinkled when old: leaves few and small: flowers at the depressed apex; the old forked branches of the infloresence sub-persistent but not spinose. A few small branches similar to the main stem present. S. Africa L.B.C. 5:436. A.G. 11:463. - A curious and rare plant, often mistaken for a cactus and showing extreme reduction in xero-phytic euphorbias as Mammillaria does for the cacti.
Fig. 1446. Euphorbia meloformis (X 1/3). No. 44.
ee. Podaria in spirals checkering the axis.
F. Joints or branches globose to short-cylindrical: glands of the involucre with lobed or comb-like edges. See also No. 51. Class Dactylanthes.
Low, the spherical or short cylindrical to club-shaped joints crowded, forming a clump near the ground: joints
1/2-2 in. long; podaria very flat, pentagonal: leaves very small, triangular: peduncle 2-4 in. long; glands of involucre with 3-4 lobes which are green with white pits; flowering all summer. Cape region. B.M. 2624.
46. ornithopus, Jacq. Much-branched half-shrub: joints 1 in. or less thick, short-cylindrical; podaria elongated into conical projections: leaves small ovate: peduncles short; flowers much as in E. globosa, involucral glands erect, the 3-4 teeth pitted and white-marked. Cape region. B.M.2520. L.B.C. 3:220 (asE.anacantha).
Cespitose sub-shrub, with some joints 4-8 in. long, 3/4in. thick: podaria oblong, somewhat projecting: leaves small, ovate-oblong; cyathia almost sessile at apex of branches; glands divergent, the 3-lobes white with greenish pits. Cape region.
ff. Joints of the branches obscure or none; branches cylindrical, many times as long as thick.
G. Sinuous or snake-like branches many, from a thick basal stem; thorns none: leaves small; glands comb-like. Class Medusea.
(E. Commelinii, DC). Medusa's Head. Branches 1-2 in. thick, numerous, declined about the short, obconical stem, with ends erect, 6-12 in. long: leaves linear-lanceolate, about 1 in. long: cyathia single, from short, thick peduncles; glands erect, white. Cape region. - A curious and interesting plant; often seen as single-stemmed plants grown from branch cuttings. E. parvimamma, Boiss., is also in cult, under this name. See Suppl. list.
(E. viperina, Berger, fide N. E. Br. E. serpentaria, Hort.?). Smaller: branches about 1/2in. thick, 12 in. long; podaria narrow, in 6-8 somewhat spiral rows: leaves very small, ovate; cyathia 1/2in. wide, whitish, glands divergent. Cape region. B.M. 7971.
GG. Sinuous or snake-like branches none; glands simple, flat, without divided appendages: leaves usually large; cyathia usually long peduncled, subtended by several broad bracts. Class Treisia.
(E. Hystrix, Jacq., fide N. E. Br.). A shrub, 2-3 ft. high: branches divergent from the base, 1/2in. thick: leaves linear, 2-3 in. long: peduncles persistent as numerous brownish red thorns. Cape region. - Some species of the subsection Anthacantha are in cult, under the name of E. Hystrix. The names E. clava, Jacq., and E. coronata, Thunb., are used in the trade and belong to closely related if not identical species of S. Africa, probably not in cultivation The stems are smaller and the infloresence less spinose than in E. loricata.
stem ovate-spherical, elongated in age, 3 in. thick, 4-5 in. high: podaria scale-like, imbricated, quadrangular: leaves at stem apex, 4-8 in. long, lanceolate: flowers long-stalked; peduncle not persistent. Cape region. B.M. 3476. - Seldom cultivation, and, as it does not branch, cannot be prop, by cuttings. E. clandestina, Jacq., differing in the club-shaped stem, 1 1/2 2 in. thick, with oblong podaria divergent above, small leaves and nearly sessile cyathia is listed, probably erroneously, in the trade.
bbb. stems herbaceous or woody, rarely somewhat fleshy, not spiny: infloresence umbellate: stipules none.
c. Leaves below the umbel decussate: tall annual herb.
Caper Spurge. Mole Plant. Fig. 1447. Annual, 2-3 ft. tall: leaves long, lance-linear, those of the infloresence ovate-acuminate: glands shorthorned: caps, somewhat fleshy, 1/4- 1/2in. diam. Eu., and naturalized in E. U. S. Rept. Mo. Bot. Gard. 11, pl. 11. - Cult, in old gardens. Caps, sometimes pickled, seeds used as a purgative. Said to drive away moles from its neighborhood (see Cornell Bull. 61:331); for a similar reason known as "gopher plant" in S. Calif.
Fig. 1447. Euphorbia Lathyris, young plant seen endwise. No. 52.
cc. Leaves usually clustered at ends of branches: shrubs. (Euphorbio-dendron, Millsp.).
Branching shrub, 3-6 ft. high: leaves pale, glaucous green, spreading or drooping, 2-3 in. long: umbel 5-10-rayed; cyathia surrounded by large, dark purple, broadly ovate, obtuse, connate bracts; glands ovate. March. Teneriffe. B.M. 3321. - Some other red-leaved species used for bedding in Amer, have been cult, under this name, i.e., a purplish variety of E. pulcherrima, and possibly E. haema-todes, Boiss.
Like the last but leaves narrowly linear and bracts almost yellow: involucral glands with 2 short horns. Teneriffe. - Some plants under this name are E. piscatoria, Ait. See Suppl. list.
A large branching shrub, more foliaceous than the two preceding: leaves linear-lanceolate, obtuse or acute: bracts yellowish, rhomboid-orbicular mucronate; glands truncate or semi-lunate. Medit. region. Gn. 36, p. 203. R.H. 1887:160.
56. fulva, Stapf (E. elastica, Altam. & Rose). Palo Amarillo. Small tree: leaves lanceolate, acute, pubescent : cyathia few, bracts small, glands ovate: caps, conical, 1 in. long. Mex. - Used for rubber.
ccc. Leaves below the umbel alternate: leafy perennial herbs. d. Glands of the involucre oval, entire.