Sunday, March 06, 2011

Flame of Jamaica

Flame of Jamaica
Euphorbia punicea
(yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (pun-IK-ee-uh)
Synonyms: Jamaican Poinsettia

This shrub was certainly lighting up the south Florida landscape. The beautiful red bracts looked good against the clear blue sky. Native to the islands of Jamaica and Cuba this semi-shrubby tree can grow in poor soil with a minimum of water. It doesn’t take much pruning and can bloom year round. It was my first run in with this plant and it was totally captivating. There are some variations of the bract (modified leaves) color and the can range from orange to deep red. This plant is unusual in the United States and I can’t figure out why since it is low maintenance and showy.

Since it is Sunday here is a bonus plant.

Ceylon Ironwood
Mesua ferrea
Synonyms: Indian Rose Chestnut, Cobra's Saffron, Nagkeshar

This is another tree that I wasn’t familiar with. It looked nice with the red new growth but didn’t have any flowers. Typical of the botanical world it had a lot of history and medicinal purposes that you wouldn’t know by just looking at it. The tree is considered sacred in Indian culture and the flowers and aromatic bark are used in the fragrance industry. The flower oil can also have anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is native to tropical Sri Lanka where it is considered the national tree with its cultivation reaching back as far as the 8th century AD.

For more flower pictures from around the world check out:
Today’s Flowers .


Anonymous said...

Great pictures!!
I am not familiar with 'Flame of Jamaica' Euphorbia punicea.
The 'Pointsettia' Euphorbia pulcherrima plants are very common around the world.
Thank you for sharing the information about the Ceylon Ironwood. Many plants have medical components and other uses. The book 'Mind-Altering and Poisenous Plants of the World' written by Michael Wink and Ben-Erik van Wiyk is quite interesting as well.
- Cheers Gisela.

Lui said...

Your flowers are always beautiful taken with clear, clean shots!

msdewberry said...

I've never seen these plants/shrubs before. Its one thing I like about this meme is I get to see flowers I have not seen before. Great photos!

Arija said...

Glorious tropical trees. I too have not seen the Euphorbia pinicea before.

Thank you for bringing it to all our notice.

Míriam Luiza said...

Este ermelho cor de sangue é impressionante!