Plant ID forum: Help with identifying this mystery plant.

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shimyns
Aug 23, 2016 8:49 AM CST
Hello!
I adopted this plant at work over a year ago. It was initially doing very well but now seems to be in deteriorating shape. Identifying it will help me give it the conditions it needs.

Thank you,
Shimyn
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Aug 23, 2016 9:37 AM CST
Hi and Welcome! shimyns!

Does it exude any milkiness/sap when you remove a leaf, or clip a stem?

I think I could really be going out on a limb here, but something about it is reminding me of a Poinsettia, or some other Euphorbia.

Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Aug 23, 2016 9:58 AM CST
Tara - I think you've got it.

shimyns
Aug 23, 2016 9:58 AM CST
Yes, I just plucked a leaf off and it immediately exuded a thick milky liquid. What do you think?
And thanks for your snappy response!

shimyns
Aug 23, 2016 10:01 AM CST
I google-imaged both Euphorbia and Poinsettia and neither of them look like this plant... The poinsettia are all red, and the Euphorbia look like a sort of gumby plant or cactus..
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Aug 23, 2016 10:16 AM CST
Euphorbia, and Poinsettia cover a HUGE array of varieties.

This is the link to Poinsettia in our database... http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=Poinsettia&button...
And this is the one that I think most resembles yours... Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Notice the variety in different color bracts. Scroll down through the pictures and you'll see this one in particular that most resembles the leaves.
The Euphorbias... http://garden.org/plants/search/text/?q=Euphorbia&button=
Name: Myriam
Ghent, Belgium (Zone 8a)
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bonitin
Aug 23, 2016 10:16 AM CST
The 'red leaves' of the poinsettia are in fact bracts, and these only appear when the plant is ready to bloom, the flowers themselves are tiny.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poinsettia
[Last edited by bonitin - Aug 23, 2016 10:32 AM (+)]
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Name: Myriam
Ghent, Belgium (Zone 8a)
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bonitin
Aug 23, 2016 10:18 AM CST
Oops cross-posted Tara!
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
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terrafirma
Aug 23, 2016 10:20 AM CST
Thumbs up Hilarious! Myriam!

shimyns
Aug 23, 2016 10:42 AM CST
Wow! Thank you all for your quick sleuthing and expertise. Since my above comment I did some searching and also think that there's a good chance it's a Euphorbia pulcherrima. I was initially thrown off by the red bracts but now understand that this plant would not have any red due to the lack of 14h of darkness etc..

I'll now have to learn about how to give it optimal growth conditions to get it to thrive again!

Thanks so much!
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Aug 23, 2016 10:55 AM CST
Hi shimyns, Welcome! from me too!

Your plant sure looks like Poinsettia ( Euphorbia pulcherrima) to me. Most people purchase Poinsettia as a short lived holiday plant to enjoy when the bracts are bright red and then discard them after the first of the year. The bracts/leaves of Poinsettia usually turn red late in the year when the days get shorter. You can force your plant to turn red by placing it in a location of total darkness (like a closet) for 12 to 14 hours each day ... continue this for 6 to 8 weeks and you should see a change in color. I had Poinsettia in my yard a few years ago and the ones that were in a spot where it was totally dark turned pretty red by late December; those that were near a porch light didn't change at all.
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Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
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Carter
Aug 23, 2016 5:40 PM CST
I agree, that is definitely a poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima. Probably 99% of people (maybe slightly more) kill them within a month or so after Christmas - if not sooner than that, so congrats on keeping it going for so long!

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