Crown of thorns

The first spring colours in my untamed bushy garden are from these red and yellow “Crown of Thorns“. (euphorbia milii)  The bright red and yellow flowers arriving before the leaves even start to bud.  I originally thought these plants were Kudu lilies, but on closer investigation the flowers were all wrong.  Now that I have identified them, I have found out that they are not indigenous to the area but originate from Madagascar.

The purist in me says that I should only have indigenous plants on my farm, not only indigenous to South Africa, but indigenous to my area of South Africa.  If I were to follow that rule, I would have to uproot 3 big leopard trees, 3 bougainvillea, 4 crown of thorns, and  4 pachypodia (halfmens) as well as the new green leafy bed that my parents and I planted recently below the window of the guest cottage. Also, how do I then justify my veggie patch?

I have decided that I will keep my non-indigenous plants in beds and keep an eye on them, and when the leopard trees die, replace them with indigenous trees.  The bush around the cottages will remain natural indigenous bush.  I know it’s a bit of a compromise, but life is like that sometimes.


9 thoughts on “Crown of thorns

  1. And why not. To remove all those plants would be a sacrilege – and you would be doing your farm a disservice.

    And as for your veggie patch – well, it has got to be the most important of all.

    I wouldn’t worry if I was you – completely indigenous is surely for those places which are not inhabited by man…?

    And I think the Crown of Thorns is exquisite 🙂


  2. The crown of thorns has lovely little flowers! And I’m with everyone else–no need to feel guilty about a non-native plant in these days of globalization, when massive corporations are doing so much real damage to the planet. (But I kind of love you for worrying about it.)


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