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Euphorbia epithymoides

Previously known as:

  • Euphorbia polychroma
Phonetic Spelling
yoo-FOR-bee-ah ee-pith-ih-MOY-deez
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Cushion Spurge is an herbaceous flowering perennial that grows in a dome or cushion shape and is typically used as a ground cover. The plant does well in sun to light shade and prefers loose, dry, light-textured, well-drained sandy to gravelly soil. Afternoon shade is beneficial during southern summers, but too much shade can cause the plant to become leggy and lose the cushion shape it is known for.

In spring the insignificant flowers are surrounded by showy 1-inch yellow bracts and appear in terminal clusters. In fall the leaves become red-tinged. When mature, the plant will take a mounded form and have a spread of 18 inches. You should space the plantings 14 to 20 inches apart. Cushion Spurge is drought tolerant. The plant self-seeds, so dead-heading spent flowers is recommended.

The milky sap is toxic to skin and eyes so be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when handling this plant.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious insect or disease problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Midas
Midas
Tags:
#sun#deciduous#poisonous#partial shade#small spaces#drought tolerant#perennial#rabbit resistant#cpp#herbaceous#deer resistant#groundcover#borders
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Midas
Midas
Tags:
#sun#deciduous#poisonous#partial shade#small spaces#drought tolerant#perennial#rabbit resistant#cpp#herbaceous#deer resistant#groundcover#borders
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euphorbia
    Species:
    epithymoides
    Family:
    Euphorbiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & South Eastern Europe to NW. Turkey and Libya
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    deer and drought resistant
    Edibility:
    Stems exude a slightly toxic, milky sap when cut.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    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 Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The green flowers are insignificant as they lack petals and sepals. However, they are surrounded by showy i-inch yellow bracts from April to June in terminal clusters.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Stems bear downy, medium green leaves to 2 inches long. Oblong leaves are stemless and display good fall colors.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Erect, sturdy stems with milky sap.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Rock Wall
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Pollution
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Milky plant sap can irritate skin or open wounds and may cause nausea or vomiting if other parts of the plant are eaten.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Diterpene esters in milky latex
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Sap/Juice
    Stems