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Mediterranean Spurge Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Mediterranean Spurge:

This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This is a subspecies of Euphorbia characias known for its shorter stature and more vivid colored flowers. It is a subshrub growing 2-3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide. Spring flowers appear in large clusters with chartreuse cup-shaped flowers held above the foliage. The attractive blue-green leaves are arranged in a whorl and in warmer winter areas may stay evergreen. The stem exudes a milky sap when broken that can cause skin and eye irritation so be sure to wear gloves and eye protection. Cut the stems back after blooming. It will readily self-seed.

This plant is very sensitive to overwatering and may develop root rot in soils that do not drain well.  It prefers a Mediterranean type climate and may have problems with hot humid weather. Good choice for drier, sunny sites, raised beds and xeriscape gardens. It can also be grown in containers.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

 

More information on Euphorbia characias.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Davidson County Demo Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Jimmy Platt'
  • 'Lampbrook Gold'
    Yellower flowers
  • 'Shorty'
    Compact plant
'Jimmy Platt', 'Lampbrook Gold', 'Shorty'
Tags:
#showy flowers#drought tolerant#perennials#yellow flowers#showy leaves#low maintenance#spring flowers#low water use plant#blue-green leaves#milky sap#long bloom time#clumping#skin irritation#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Jimmy Platt'
  • 'Lampbrook Gold'
    Yellower flowers
  • 'Shorty'
    Compact plant
'Jimmy Platt', 'Lampbrook Gold', 'Shorty'
Tags:
#showy flowers#drought tolerant#perennials#yellow flowers#showy leaves#low maintenance#spring flowers#low water use plant#blue-green leaves#milky sap#long bloom time#clumping#skin irritation#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euphorbia
    Species:
    characias
    Family:
    Euphorbiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern Europe, Balkans, Eastern Turkey
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Dense
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Cyndrical clusters of greenish-yellow flowers held above the foliage appear in spring and are long-lasting. No true petals but has colorful cup-shaped bracts with purple nectar glands.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Narrow blue-green leaves arranged in a whorled pattern up the stem. Up to 5 inches long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Green stems with a milky sap
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Rock Wall
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Rabbits
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Skin and eye irritation
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Sap/Juice