HARDY PERENNIALS: EUPHORBIA

E. polychroma (epithymoides) is very adaptable, and begins to make a show in early spring with its clustered sulphur yellow heads. These reach 18 inches by the time they fade in May and plants become a green leaved bush until autumn. It is a sterling plant, long lived and trouble free, as is the much taller, later flowering E. palustris. This grows to 3-4 feet and prefers soil not too dry, but E. griffithii ‘Fireglow’, has a slowly creeping habit below ground. Given an open sunny position it grows erectly to 3 feet, by June the intense burnt orange heads begin to fade and merge into green. These three are suited to ordinary open positions, and can be increased by autumn or spring division. E. amyg-daloides, E. robbiae and E. macrostegia, are somewhat similar in making fairly rapid ground cover foliage in sun or shade, about 9-12 inches high, and carrying loose heads of sulphury flowers. The smaller, silvery blue leaved E. cyparissias, with yellowish heads only 9 inches high. E. wulfenii, and the very similar E. characias are shrubby and can only be increased by seed. Seedlings occur and it takes 2-3 years to reach flowering size at 3 feet, covering itself in spring with spectacular lemon yellow heads. These will grow in dry soil. The silver-blue ground hugging E. myrsinites, needs a sunny spot, well drained, and the foliage has year round attraction, and makes a large head of sulphury-yellow flowers in spring.

EUPHORBIA polychroma (epithymoides)

EUPHORBIA polychroma (epithymoides)

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