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a. A trailing or climbing spiny shrub (Euphorbia milii) native to Madagascar and cultivated as a houseplant, having showy flower clusters with usually red, petallike bracts.
b. The Christ's thorn.
2. A spiny starfish (Acanthaster planci) of the Pacific and Indian Oceans that feeds on coral polyps.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Animals) a starfish, Acanthaster planci, that has a spiny test and feeds on living coral in coral reefs
2. (Plants) Also called: Christ's thorn a thorny euphorbiaceous Madagascan shrub, Euphorbia milii var. splendens, cultivated as a hedging shrub or pot plant, having flowers with scarlet bracts
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014