MorphologyRead full entry
DescriptionShrubs, scrambling, many branched, 60-90 cm. Stems obscurely 3-5-angled, densely spiny. Leaves alternate, clustered at stem apex; stipules forming spines 1-1.3(-2) cm; petiole absent or nearly so; leaf blade obovate to oblong-oblanceolate, 1.5-5 × 0.8-1.8 cm, base attenuate, margin entire, apex rounded. Cyathia in subapical, dichasial cymes, peduncle 4-7 cm; cyathophylls 2, reniform-rounded, 8-10 × 12-14 mm, usually bright red (pink, white, or yellow in some cultivars), apex rounded; involucre campanulate, 3-4 × 3.5-4 mm, lobes 5, lanceolate; glands 5, reniform-rounded, ca. 1 × 2 mm, yellow-red. Male flowers many; bracteoles linear, apex pilose. Female flower: ovary smooth and glabrous, usually included with involucre; styles connate below middle; stigma 2-lobed. Capsule 3-lobed-ovoid, ca. 3.5 × 4 mm, smooth and glabrous. Seeds ovoid-terete, ca. 2.5 × 2 mm, gray-brown, reticulate; caruncle absent. Fl. and fr. all year.