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Plant of the Month
Euphorbia charcias ssp. wulfenii Photos: Rachel Cobb
Euphorbia charcias ssp. wulfenii, E. rigida
Common Name: Spurge, E. rigida Gopher Spurge
Growth Habit:Euphorbia charcias ssp. wulfenii is an upright shrubby perennial 4-5’ tall x 3-4’ wide while gopher spurge forms a low, spreading mound 2 feet x 3’ wide.
Cultural Requirements: These spurges are quite drought tolerant, full sun is best, but have some shade tolerance. They prefer well-drained soils. After stalks bloom and seeds form the stalks die. So cut these off as new shoots quickly re-grow and will bloom the following year.
Features/Uses: The long-lasting chartreuse blooms of both species are garden highlights. The blue-grey foliage is attractive most of the year.
There are several attractive varieties or cultivars of Euphorbia charcias. Euphorbia x martinii and its cultivars are hybrids of Euphorbia charcias and are often available in garden centers. All of these plant work well as perennials in gardens and landscapes.
The lower-growing gopher spurge is often used in succulent and desert gardens. In colder climates it has reddish color over the winter.
Bloom Time: Euphorbia charcias blooms in spring while Euphorbia rigida blooms in late winter to spring,.
Where in the Garden: Euphorbia charcias ssp. wulfenii is in the Mediterranean Garden while gopher spurge (Euphorbia rigida) is in the Old World Desert.