When we first arrived in Myanmar we were beset with difficulties. On the second day, I saw these flowers of Crown of Thorns cactus at temple, and it immediately reminded me of my small experience with the country – grey with some vicious thorns, but every so often a burst of beauty – the brilliant smiles and spirituality of the people.
Later, when we figured out how the country worked, the prickly grey thorns disappeared and all that was left were the brilliant flowers.
Crown of Thorns is a type of euphorbia or spurge, with the Latin name: Euphorbia milii. I see from my plant ‘stick’ that Euphorbias are also known as ‘Wolfsmelk’, ‘Wolfsmilch’ or ‘Törel’. The ‘melk’ or ‘milch’ probably refers to the white milky sap which can burn the skin and cause serious damage if it gets in your eyes.
One of my favourite plant families, I have photos of several other species of Euphorbia bursting into bloom around Vancouver in the spring.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge see: http://ceenphotography.com/2014/04/29/cees-fun-foto-challenge-flowers/