‘Ekoko (Chamaesyce celastroides var. lorifolia)

Accepted symbolCHCEL2
Super DivisionSpermatophyta
SpeciesChamaesyce celastroides var. lorifolia
Common Name'Ekoko
HabitatTree, Shrub

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The Akoko Euphorbia celastroides var. lorifolia , previously also known as Chamaesyce celastroides var. lorifolia is one of the several varieties of the widespread and variableEuphorbia celastroides. It is a small shrub less than 60 cm tall or a small tree up to 5 metres that is easily distinguished by its long thin leaves. The flowers are not attractive. The red or pinkish fruits, however, enhance the beautiful foliage. The varietal name, lorifolia, strap-leaf, in reference to the long leaves of this -akoko. Stems: It forms a loosely branching trunk. The secondary or young branches are stiff, with short internodes.Leaves: Distichous (growing in two vertical rows), 5 to over 7.5 cm long light or medium green that may have a slight 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, but is drought-deciduous. 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. amplectens, produces flower and fruit sporadically throughout the year.Seeds: Grey-brown seeds 0.5 to 2.5 mm long.