‘Ekoko (Chamaesyce celastroides var. laehiensis)

AttributeValue
Accepted symbolCHCEL
KingdomPlantae
SubkingdomTracheobionta
Super DivisionSpermatophyta
DivisionMagnoliophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderEuphorbiales
FamilyEuphorbiaceae
GenusChamaesyce
SpeciesChamaesyce celastroides var. laehiensis
DurationPerennial
HabitatTree, Shrub

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The -akoko Euphorbia celastroides var. laehiensis, previously also known as Chamaesyce celastroides var. laehiensis, is one of the several varieties of the spurge Euphorbia celastroides distinguished by its glaucous (opaque bluish) pubescent (fuzzy) leaves. The variety laehiensis is a evergreen sprawling shrub and can have a spread of 2 metres or more. While the flowers are not showy, the bright pinkish to red fruits can be uniquely appealing en masse.Stems: It forms a loosely branching short trunk. The secondary or young branches are stiff, with short internodes. A milky, sticky latex naturally oozes from wounds.Leaves: Distichous (growing in two vertical rows), up to 15 mm long, grey-silverish, pubescent and have an opaque glaucous coating. Often the leaves in the summer assume a red-violet colouring. It does not lose its leaves in the winter, due to the warm climate of its range. Damaged or old leaves turn a blood red as they die.Flowers (cyathia): Small, brownish to greenish-white, not showy, a few millimeters in diameter, located in short or open-branched cymes, or ungrouped in leaf axils. Female cyathia have a three-part pistil over a three-part ovary, usually producing three (or sometimes more) seeds. The pungent flowers of -akoko have been described as smelling like bad breath. Fruit: Green or reddish-brown or pink, rounded 2 to 4 mm long. Within each capsule are two or three small seeds.Phenology: Euphorbia celastroides var. laehiensis produces flower and fruit sporadically throughout the year.Seeds: Grey-brown seeds 0.5 to 2.5 mm long.