Euphorbia characias, Bush Spurge. Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii
Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

Euphorbia characias

Bush Spurge
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Origin: Mediterranean region
USDA Zone: 8-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterYellow, orange flowersOrnamental foliageUnusual colorIrritating plant

Native to the Mediterranean regions and growing to a height of 2-5 feet, this slow-growing, drought tolerant evergreen shrub of multiple stems is an impressive specimen, especially in small gardens. The unusual foliage is bronzy-green, covered with an array of tiny spines that can be irritating to the touch. The habit is an upright, spreading, multi-stemmed plant, and the stems are very woody and succulent-like. In the early spring, the attractive blooms appear in bright yellow and orange, with a reddish-green center. These are followed by the unusual flower heads.

The Euphorbia characias (Bush Spurge) is a great choice for sunny gardens, but it can also tolerate some light shade. It requires moderate water during summer and should be well-draining for best results. In cold climates, it can be grown in a large pot kept in a sheltered location. If you are growing the plant in a pot, you should use a well-draining potting mix and water regularly, making sure not to overwater.

This outstanding, unassuming shrub deserves an honored place in your garden as an ornamental foliage that adds a touch of color, texture, and interest. Give this shrub the right conditions and it will reward you with a long life and exciting blooms every year.

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