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Spurge Euphorbia

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
yoo-FOR-bee-ah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Euphorbia is a perennial that grows well in all parts of North Carolina and is the genus of a large number of species commonly called spurge. The plants are can be annual, biennial, but most are perennial herbs, shrubs, and small trees. All, however, emit a toxic milky latex when cut. 

Euphorbias flowers are usually tiny and nondescript although in many species, the bracts around the individual flowers can be showy. Some species can grow quite tall; however, the typical plant attains a height of 18 inches and, in spring, displays clusters of colorful bracts. These bracts should be trimmed off after bloom to maintain a tidy appearance.  Euphorbia can be propagated in the summer with cuttings . In some areas it can become weedy.  All species of spurge have a milky plant sap of low toxicity that can irritate skin or open wounds and can cause nausea or vomiting if other parts of the plant are ingested. If you are attempting to propagate the plant from cuttings, be sure to wear gloves.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or other problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Paul J Ciener Botanical Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Ascot Rainbow'
    Green leaves with chartruse edging
  • 'Diamond Frost'
  • Euphorbia 'Silver Swan'
    Gray and white variegted leaves, year round interest
  • 'Galaxy Glow'
'Ascot Rainbow', 'Diamond Frost', Euphorbia 'Silver Swan', 'Galaxy Glow'
Tags:
#yellow#poisonous#partial shade#drought tolerant#perennial#weedy#cut flowers#colorful leaves#rabbit resistant#meadow#air pollution tolerant#cpp#deer resistant#sap#borders#spring interest#HS302
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Ascot Rainbow'
    Green leaves with chartruse edging
  • 'Diamond Frost'
  • Euphorbia 'Silver Swan'
    Gray and white variegted leaves, year round interest
  • 'Galaxy Glow'
'Ascot Rainbow', 'Diamond Frost', Euphorbia 'Silver Swan', 'Galaxy Glow'
Tags:
#yellow#poisonous#partial shade#drought tolerant#perennial#weedy#cut flowers#colorful leaves#rabbit resistant#meadow#air pollution tolerant#cpp#deer resistant#sap#borders#spring interest#HS302
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euphorbia
    Family:
    Euphorbiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, Africa and Asia
    Distribution:
    worldwide
    Edibility:
    toxic if ingested
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    True flowers are not showy (they lack petals or sepals) however, the petal-like bracts are clustered in cymes display as clusters of yellow or chartreuse green
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Variegated
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Comes in many color variations of green included variegated with white or yellow stripes.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Pollution
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Weedy
  • 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:
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Stems