The scientific name for this plant, Pedilanthus tithymaloides, means foot-shaped flower. The plant is native to the American tropics. It makes a superb houseplant with its 2-foot tall stems, alternate leaves and colorful “flowers” which are actually bracts or modified leaves. The leaves are lance shaped and thick on wiry stems. The bract color may be white, green, red or pink. The plant is a member of the spurge family. No devil’s backbone plant info would be complete without noting that the milky sap may be poisonous to some people. Care should be exercised when handling the plant.