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Mexican fire plant
Euphorbia heterophylla

Mexican fire plant, Euphorbia heterophylla The Mexican fire plant is closely related to the poinsettia .  I had never seen this species before it showed up as a weed in my garden,  under the wires where the birds perch, of course.  At first I thought it might just be a variety of poinsettia with less color on the bracts.  But there is a significant difference in the flowers.







Mexican fire plant, Euphorbia heterophylla These are the flowers of the Mexican fire plant.  They are much smaller than the flowers of poinsettia , and lack the showy yellow gland.  The male flower is smaller, and has the white stamens.  The female flower has a star shaped, green stigma.  Some show the developing, three lobed fruit.








Mexican fire plant, Euphorbia heterophylla This is what a Mexican fireplant looks as it first appears in my garden as a seedling.  Usually I pull them out with the rest of the weeds.  Sometimes I let them grow.









Mexican fire plant, Euphorbia heterophylla This seedling is a little older and its leaves are starting to take on the leaf shape characteristic of the species.









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