There it was...just a picture without any description of what this plant was. It was totally unfair of course to my readers who had no idea what this quaint-looking plant with its birdlike flowers was. In my defence, I have to say that it would have been even more unfair to have written a lengthy description of this plant's profile, as it was a WORDLESS Wednesday posting after all! Besides, when I posted these pictures, I didn't have a clue what this plant was...there, I admit it.
However, today is a Thursday and we are allowed to have WORDS.
This unusual plant is also known as Tall Slipper Plant. It is categorized as a succulent and classified under the genus "Euphorbia" (Spurges). It is also recognized as Euphorbia bracteata. The country of origin is Mexico.
It is an evergreen and drought-resistant as well. In fact when my plant was still young, I kept it under the shade and drenched it regularly. It began to look sickly and limp. After taking the advice of the nursery guy, I put it under full sun, and it has since been nursed back to health. However, it has been raining quite a bit during the monsoon season in December, and my poor Pedilanthus is again feeling under the weather.
My plant is now about 3 feet tall, but if transplanted onto the ground, it can grow to a height of a basketball player! I'll keep it in its pot as I love how the colours of the plant and the pot blend so perfectly. The bracts start off as green but will slowly turn terracotta pink. A pair of bracts will cup a green flower which is definitely birdlike in form. The Chinese name for the flowers is Xiao Niao Hua which literally translated means Little Bird Flower. The flowers will turn yellow as they age and dry up. The fruit that results has the shape of a Chinese lantern.The ripe, dried-up fruit holds 3-4 seeds which can be used for propagation.
The plant is said to be poisonous, so just be careful when you handle it.