Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Fire on the Mountain - Mystery Solved!
Behind my booth at the Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival I discovered a plant I'd not seen before. I was struck by Nature's red brushstrokes within the green leaves. So much of the plant reminded me of a poinsettia but then not.
I posted this initial sketch on Flickr and asked if anyone had any idea what this plant was called. Several flickr friends said poinsettia.
I search all my books, but to no avail. I wanted to know this poinsettia like plant's latin name.
John Nelson of the University of South Carolina's Department of Biological Sciences came to the rescue. I sent him my initial sketch and a couple of photographs I took.
Here's what he said: This plant is "fire on the mountain" or "painted leaf", Euphorbia cyathophora. It is indeed related to the poinsettias of commerce. This species is introduced, and is a bit weedy, but I don't think it is really invasive--
I so love it when a mystery can be solved! Thank you, John!!