Sunday, September 5, 2010


The best-known EUPHORBIA is a tropical plant commonly grown as a Christmas potted plant--the Poinsettia.  Lucky for us, Euphorbias have a vast and diverse genus, containing hardy, easy-to-grow perennials for full sun and partial shade as well.  Hardy euphorbias, also called CUSHION SPURGES, have insignificant flowers, surrounded by showy, petal-like bracts, that we call the flowers.  If you look at them, you can tell they are closely related to the poinsettia.  All euphorbias have a milky sap that you'll easily notice if you cut a stem or even if the leaves are damaged.  It could irritate your skin, so when working with euphorbias, it's wise to wear gloves.  Most euphorbias make attractive cut flowers.  When adding them to arrangements, sear the stem ends of both perennials and annuals over a candle or flame, or, you can dip the ends in boiling water to seal the sap.  This also prolongs their vase life.  Hardy euphorbias are grown for their spring and summer flowers, and they also have very pretty foliage, some of them evergreen.  Most euphorbias require a loose, well-drained soil and you can plant them in full sun to partial shade.  Mine does well with morning sun and dappled shade in the afternoon.  Cushion spurge has bright yellow-green flowers covering a nicely mound-shaped plant.  They bloom in early spring, when spring bulbs are blooming.  They can last to late spring if cool weather lasts.  They are compact, reaching about 1 1/2 feet high and wide.  They thrive in well-drained soil.  They look especially good with columbines, daylilies, lamb's ear, hostas, huchera and spring bulbs of all kinds.  It's a wonderful plant to have, and I enjoyed sharing many starts of it with friends this past spring. 
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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