Interesting read and images from Plants of the World Online

an online database published by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Euphorbia caput-medusae L

Euphorbia caput-medusae was introduced from South Africa to the Netherlands around 1700 and described by Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum (1753). Linnaeus had previously worked for George Clifford, a banker and one of the directors of the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, VOC).

Read further in the Kew Species Profiles - General Description

This species at Kew

Medusa’s head is grown behind the scenes, in the Tropical Nursery at Kew.

Kew’s Economic Botany Collection includes a sample of the acrid milky juice from Euphorbia caput-medusae that was donated to Kew by the artist Thomas Baines in 1854. It is available to researchers from around the world, by appointment.

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Actually i think Euphorbia caput-medusae is on display at Kew at least sometime as I remember seeing it there and in ZA. One of the remarkable Euphorbias

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