Monday, May 11, 2009


My garden is full of interesting plants, but perhaps the most interesting is this beautiful yellow Euphorbia. I love the yellow/green colour of this herbaceous plant. It creates a bright spot in my garden at this time of the year. In our climate it is a hardy perennial, coming up early each spring. Euphorbia are one of the largest and most complex genera of flowering plants. There are over 2160 species! They include many that look more like succulents or cactus-like plants. The common indoor plant at Christmas time, Crown of Thorns, is also a Euphorbia. I have several indoor plants that are considered Euphorbia. Botanists have tried to subdivive this genera but have not been successful. These plants are so diverse that my DD took a botany course at university a few years ago, dealing solely with this genera.
The most interesting things about this plant are the flowers which are really bracts, or coloured leaves at the end of the stems. The centre of these coloured bracts contain the unisexual flower parts. This is similar to Poinsettias, which are also Euphorbia (E. pulcherrima) Euphorbia are sometimes called Spurge. The word 'Spurge' comes from the word 'to purge' due to the early use of this plant's sap as a purgative. Needless to say, the sap can be highly toxic. It can cause skin irritations and affect mucous membranes. It is important to handle this plant with care. But I have never experienced any problems with it. It is one of my favourites!

Family: Euphorbiacceae. Genus: Euphorbia. Species: E. epithymoides.
Common name: Spurge

1 comment:

  1. So many wonderful pictures from your garden and to see you this other blog with quilt tutorials!