Euphorbia amygdaloides robbiae

Though it is a first-class plant for ground-cover, this euphorbia is also highly decorative. Well worth growing in its own right.

It will run about joyously among trees and shrubs, sending out underground runners which shoot up to form stalks topped with rosettes of evergreen leaves. Above the leaves loose sprays of little saucer-shaped flowers bloom in spring, very fresh and alluring in the light yellow-green colour which is typical of euphorbias. The whole effect is of a miniature flowering forest about 18 inches (45 cm) tall.

The plant prefers leafy soil, with or without lime, and will grow in sun or shade; it will if necessary grow in dry soil, but not for choice, and will be less luxuriant than where the soil is richer. It is almost hardy, but continuous frost may knock it back, though there are usually enough pieces left to renew the planting. I remember only one winter in my own cold garden where the losses were serious, and then it was so cold that even established hardy shrubs were cut back severely.

Plant E. a. robbiae in casual drifts, the plants 2 feet (60 cm) apart, with late spring bulbs round about, perhaps Narcissus poeticus, a pure white narcissus with a yellow eye.

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