This plant grows spontaneously in my garden and made me a little obsessed with Euphorbia genus. Thus I found out that one of the houseplants I thought was succulent is actually Euphorbia hypogaea and that there are thousands of Euphorbia species with fascinating shapes and colors.
Here are few of my favorites:
Euphorbia have naked flowers, entirely missing sepals or petals. The inflorescence is composed of bracts, male flowers and female flowers and is called cyanthium.
In the first stage of flowering, the female flower appears in the middle of a ring of involucral glands. These glands can be round, horse-shoe shaped or horned, often of a different colour than the bracts (yellow, red or black) and secrete a layer of nectar which is attractive to flies and other insects. The female flower is reduced to its reproductive parts: a 3-locular ovary and 3 styles with bilobed stigma.
In the second stage of flowering, the female flower bends away and makes room for the male flowers, very reduces, to one stamen and a bilobed anther.
Beneath the involucral glands a new generation of inflorescences can be seen appearing.
In today’s video I’m sketching the cyanthium inflorescence of Euphorbia platyphyllos with ink and watercolor, adding the 15th sketch of flower to my June project.
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