Give Now

The Versatility Of Euphorbia

Euphorbias are becoming more popular with gardeners recently, as they are versatile, easy- to-grow and deer resistant.

Euphorbia marginata.

The genus Euphorbia is large—about 2000 species—and there is great variation between forms.

Some plants look a bit like cacti, and many of the species have flowers that are actually bracts.

Many of the plants are tropical and sub-tropical, though some members of this genus survive well in temperate regions.

At the holiday season we see many poinsettias, native to Mexico; they are the best known euphorbias in commerce. They are imported or are grown in cold regions in greenhouses.

Those that grow in the outdoors in cold regions are often referred to as milkweed or spurge and include Euphorbia polychroma with bright chrome-yellow clusters of flowers in zones 6 to 9. Like many in this genus, it exudes a milky sap when picked.

Euphorbia marginata grows in zones 4 to 10 and is native to North America. It produces bright green leaves margined in white and broad petal-like bracts surrounding small flowers in summer. It grows quickly to two feet and is a pretty foil for any brightly colored neighboring flowers.

Euphorbia schillingii or Schilling’s spurge is a frost-hardy, clump-forming perennial, growing to three feet and was discovered in Nepal by Tony Schilling in 1975. The flat flowers are produced from mid-summer to mid-autumn, and the fall foliage is often colorful in zones 5 to 9.

Euphorbias are becoming more popular with gardeners recently, as they are versatile, easy- to-grow and deer resistant.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

View all posts by this author »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Focus on Flowers:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Focus on Flowers

About The Host

Search Focus on Flowers

Focus on Flowers on Flickr