‘Ekoko (Chamaesyce celastroides var. stokesii)

AttributeValue
Accepted symbolCHCES
KingdomPlantae
SubkingdomTracheobionta
Super DivisionSpermatophyta
DivisionMagnoliophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderEuphorbiales
FamilyEuphorbiaceae
GenusChamaesyce
SpeciesChamaesyce celastroides var. stokesii
Common Name'Ekoko
DurationPerennial
HabitatTree, Shrub

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The Akoko Euphorbia celastroides var. stokesii, previously also known as Chamaesyce celastroides var. stokesii is one of the several varieties of the widespread and variableEuphorbia celastroides. It is a small shrub usually less than 60 cm tall distinguished by its broadly obovate grey-green glaucous leaves. This species develops into a sprawling shrub. The flowers are not attractive. The red or pinkish fruits, however, enhance the beautiful foliage. Stems: 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), broadly obovate, grey-silverish to light green that may have a 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 millimetres 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. stokesii, produces flower and fruit sporadically throughout the year.Seeds: Grey-brown seeds 0.5 to 2.5 mm long.