Friday, April 28, 2006
Plant of the Day: Euphorbia epithymoides
It's easy to chose today's Plant of the Day. Euphorbia epithymoides is commonly known as cushion spurge. Related to the Poinsettia it's a wonderfully easy to grow, hardy perennial here in zone 6b.
This photo was taken today in my garden. As you can see, cushion spurge adds a wonderful sunshine yellow to the early spring garden.
Combined with other perennials that have contrasting foliage, you can have a lovely area long before most plants begin to bloom. In this spot I have Euphorbia epithymoides paired with Coreopsis 'Zagreb' (thread leaf tickseed), Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant' and the wonderful purple foliage of the Lysimachia ciliata Purpurea.
Once the blooms begin to fade on your Euphorbia, you have to make a choice to let it go to seed or to cut it back before it seeds. Here in my garden I have a number of plants so I always leave some to seed. The seedlings aren't aggressive, nor do they appear by the hundreds so they are always welcome volunteers.
When cutting back the foliage on your Euphorbia you should be aware that it has a milky white sap. Some people experience a mild rash or irritation from this plant so you would want to handle it with gloves. In my own case, while I get terrible rashes from Poison Ivy, the Euphorbia doesn't bother me at all.
Transplanting of any young plants are done early in the season here before they begin to bloom. I've found them pretty tolerent of being moved about the garden.
So add a few cushion spurge to your garden, and enjoy some spring sunshine!