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Thai tropical plants

Thai tropical plants : By Rick Schoellhorn

Thai tropical plants : An old favorite is making a comeback in the nursery industry. Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns) has, like many old-fashioned plants, gotten a face-lift — new colors, new forms — and is showing up in nurseries around the country. This cousin of the poinsettia is quick to sale, tolerant of dry conditions and makes an excellent summer crop.

Thai tropical plants : Crown of Thorns originated in Madagascar. Plants were brought into the U.S. industry as novelties, but due to the thorny stems and lack of freeze tolerance, they stalled out in the cacti collector’s market. Now, after 30 years of breeding and selection by various professional and private enthusiasts, these plants are an exotic addition to any nursery’s crop portfolio.

Much improved over the original forms, growers can now purchase rooted liners or unrooted cuttings, and retailers can add a flowering plant to their shelves that rarely needs water and blooms continuously throughout the year. The thorns and the cold sensitivity are still there, but this plant can easily be marketed as a high-dollar specialty annual. With the emphasis in today’s market on container gardens, this plant’s durability and long flower season make it a very strong crop. The long-lasting bright red bracts, unique appearance and ease of culture make this plant a good specialty Christmas crop as well.

A NEW LOOK

What makes Euphorbia milii such a good niche crop for Southern, Southeastern and Southwestern production is that it is incredibly heat tolerant. It is capable of thriving when greenhouse temperatures are above 90º F. It will tolerate full sun, high temperatures and salt spray. Because it doesn’t mind drying out, it makes a good flowering container plant in situations that would kill most annuals and perennials. Flowering is continuous throughout the growing season. The newer cultivars do not seem to be strongly photoperiodic and will continue flowering into winter if protected.

The original forms were mostly bright red in color, leaves were sparse and thorns were prominent. The newer cultivars have reduced thorns (actually more like ridges on the stem), large attractive leaves and come in a range of colors — from red, orange, salmon, pink, yellow and white — including bicolor bracts. Remember, these are relatives of the poinsettia, and the true flowers are quite small. The long-lasting color .

Thank you for : hort.ifas.ufl.edu
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/floriculture/gpn/Crown_of_Thorns.pdf


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