Hardiness: fully hardy (may need winter protection)
Many Euphorbias are highly valued for their architectural qualities and spring colour. They are reliable plants, easy to grow. Most Euphorbias prefer full sun or partial shade and are best planted in a position where they are sheltered from strong, cold winds.
Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii
Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii, also known as Mediterranean spurge. This stunning evergreen perennial bears dramatic, large heads of greenish-yellow flowers with bronze eyes on erected stems with grey-blue leaves in early spring. It will add structure to a border year-round. Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii needs plenty of space.
Expect a height of 1 meter and a spread of 1,5 meter.
Euphorbia characias ‘Black Pearl’
Another excellent evergreen euphorbia is ‘Black Pearl’. This compact variety is valued for its striking acid yellow-green flowers with distinctive black eyes. The mid-green leaves are attractive too. Euphorbia characias ‘Black Pearl’ is perfect for a small garden. It grows to a height of 80cm.
Euphorbia characias ‘Silver Swan’
And then there is ‘Silver Swan’. It has variegated grey-green leaves with white edges, giving the plant a silvery appearance. White flowers that have a lime-green stripe are produced in early spring. Euphorbia characias ‘Silver Swan’ is suitable for large containers. It will reach a height of 75cm.
Euphorbia c. ‘Silver Swan’ Euphorbia c. subsp. wulfenii
When and how to prune Euphorbia characias (spurge). Euphorbia characias produces biennial stems. In its first year, stems of grey-blue leaves will emerge. In its second year, these stems will bear flowers in spring. When the stems have finished flowering ( around June) cut them back to the base of the plant.
Overwinter Euphorbia characias
If the stems of Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii are exposed to cold winds or severe frosts they can be damaged. Protect the plant against cold winds with a couple of layers of garden fleece.