Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Euphorbia rigida; my favorite plant in the garden this week…


This may finally be “the one”… after two other Euphorbia rigida died sad deaths this, my third, looks like it’s going to make it. I placed it here…

…under the Rhododendron (which is trimmed up further off the ground than it looks like in these photos) so I could see it from the house (since it’s an early spring bloomer) and to give it a little shelter from the elements. It still gets lots of sun and it’s on a bit of a slope to help with drainage.

From the Xera Plants website: For spring bloom nothing can match the piercing and vivid chartreuse green flowers that appear on this perennial from March and remain effective to May. Blue green symmetrical foliage on trailing stems to 2' tall and spreading a bit wider. Full sun and well drained soil with little water once established. Extremely tolerant of drought. May reseed itself in open disturbed soil. The seedlings are easy to spot and dispatch.


While the chartreuse blooms (the flowers above are from last spring) are reason enough to grow this plant, the foliage is what I love. A similar Euphorbia, which I also grow, E. myrsinites tends to get a little leggy; in my experience this plant stays more compact.

The stats:
  • Full to partial sun in well drained soil
  • Hardy in zones 7a – 11
  • Eventual size 2ft tall x 2 – 3 ft wide
  • Like all Euphorbia it contains a milky sap that can be highly irritating to your skin and potentially damaging to your eyes. Exercise caution!

28 comments:

  1. Yes, I often confuse this one with myrsinites, which I have heard is an extremely aggressive spreader. I love the look of it, and those chartreuse flowers are really eye-popping. I have to stop reading your favorite plant posts, I want every one!

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    1. For awhile you couldn't even find E. myrsinites in Portland (because of it's invasiveness) I had to stock up when I visited friends in Seattle! Seriously though I cut off the spent flowers once they start to look bad and this keeps all my Euphorbia in check. I watch the neighbors who don't pay for it every year when hundreds of babies sprout and start to grow.

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  2. Great plant! Your placement is great! Mine are on the street side of the parking strip so the only people who get to see them bloom are the folks who park there in the morning and block the view all day. Maybe I should move them.

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    1. Maybe you should. I doubt those folks really appreciate it after all.

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  3. OMG...I suddenly feel very stupid. I've not realized they were different...and I purposely never bought either because I must always be seeing E. myrsinites in our neighborhood, and I've never liked how scraggly they look after a few years. Does this one really stay full compact like that...if so, sign me up!

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    1. I finally decided to try another (as I said my 3rd) after observing some nearby over a full year. They stayed looking just as good. I also like the slightly upward growth on E. rigida as opposed to E. myrsinites which sort of snakes along the ground. Do it!

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  4. I too love the euphorbia rigida. I gifted my sister a couple of the euphorbia myrsinites and now she is a euphorbia addict. I agree with you about the better form of the rigida. I find them simply tantalizing.

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    1. Have you had any trouble keeping them alive?

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    2. I have never planted it, just myrsinites. I never really seem to find that one offered. Nurseries seem to favour certain varieties and stick with them.

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  5. I was just goingto ask you about E. myrsinites, which is what I have. Your E. rigida has a much nicer habit. I'll look for it!

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  6. Aren't they great??? Love em'!

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    1. Really all Euphorbia are pretty wonderful aren't they?

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  7. Nice contrast, those flowers with the gray-blue foliage. This is another plant I wish I had room for. Hey, maybe in my parking strip, like Louis!

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    1. Oh, wait, that was Outlaw growing them along the street...

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    2. I think they'd look great in a parking strip. In fact now you've got me thinking about maybe under-planting my trees with a couple!

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  8. I've always loved mirsinites, but maybe this one is even better. I do love that little shy blush on the tips.

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    1. Ah yes, isn't that wonderful! The neighbor I mentioned above (in reply to Scott's comment) has about 6 of these planted along the edge of her property. Hers are further along right now with a decidedly orange cast to the tip, gorgeous!

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  9. Similar to Euphorbia myrsinites but I think this one is much better. I love this plant and I could see little shots at the base of the clump already, ready for spring burst. Third time lucky hopefully, cross fingers!

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    1. Speaking of fingers I find myself wanting to grab a stem and run my hands along the leaves. Probably not the best idea with that milky irritating sap!

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  10. Sun, sun and yet more sun is what I have read that this plant needs or it will fail (hence the reason why I don't grow it up here! Ha ha!)

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    1. Interesting...well then last summers very sunny stretch with no rain must be why this one is so happy!

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  11. I think the euphorbias are underutilized int he garden. I never see many here but maybe that is because most prefer a milder climate. Still, I have the one and look forward to the coming bloom. The one I bought in Seattle died during our hot summer.

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    1. Sorry to hear that Jenny, I think Pam has had success with a couple of Euphorbia hasn't she?

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  12. I love it, too. It's so striking among other plants -- I have mine planted with grasses and other extremely xeric plants where I rarely water. The best part - the deer leave it alone!

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    1. Ah yes...I didn't mention that important part, deer resistant! I have such a blessed ignorance when it comes to matters of the deer.

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  13. I love this Euphorbia. In fact I'm not quite sure why I don't have one in my garden...

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  14. Green flowers? hmmm that could be a great addition to my garden, I've never imagined myself liking a spiky plant well I never thought they can look so good.

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