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Euphorbia characias ssp. wulfenii

Common Name:

Plant Type:
Evergreen perennial
Euphorbiaceae (The Spurge Family)
Geographic Origin:
Mediterranean Region
California Native?:
Plant Size:
3-5 feet
Landscape/Garden Uses:
Mixed plantings
Flowering Season:
Flower Color:
Sun or light shade
Most soils
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate to little watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 0 degrees F. or less
This is a true spectacle when in bloom. The plants are nearly shrubby, sending up several thick, leafy stems, 3-5 feet high, from a woody base. The leaves are up to 4 inches long, rather narrow and colored an unusual blue- or grey-green. In late winter and early spring the flower clusters unfold at the tips of second-year stems, becoming broad towers as much as a foot long. The floral leaves and bracts are painted brilliant chartreuse to yellow and hold their color well for several weeks after the flowers have gone. The little flowers themselves are bright green, making a pleasant contrast. Will grow in sun or light shade, with moderate to little watering. Wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when handling them, and don't plant them where children play! The milky juice nearly leaps out of cut stems and can raise blisters and damage the eyes.