Saturday, May 31, 2008

Call it a succulent...

That's the thing about being an outdoor writer and someone who loves to learn learn learn about nature–you've always got questions.

And somehow, answers and further observations lead to more questions.

For instance, when I recently posted photos of the anole hiding in my potted succulent, I honestly didn't know whether to call the plant a succulent or a cactus. And I want to ALWAYS write accurately, whether it's here on my blog or for a magazine article. I've had that thing for six years, and it's grown taller than me. My uncle, Dudley R. Dobie Jr., gave it to me after I moved into this home. When I asked him if he knew what it was, he said no but to let him know if I found out.

Well, I did. Today.

I posted a question and photos on and got a reply right away.

It's a succulent: an African milk tree (Euphorbia trigona). So called because it releases a sticky, milky-white fluid when cut. I can vouch for that. It grows tall like crazy, and I've cut off limbs to give to people so they can start their own. It "bleeds" white stuff every time.

No, my succulent's not part of our Wildscape, but I wanted to know what to call it. Now I do!

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