Ground covers, Perennials
Diverse genus of about 2,000 species, ranging from small flowery annuals to sculptural trees. The flower is technically a cyathium, consisting of fused bracts that form a cup around the much-reduced true flowers. Cyathia may appear singly or in clusters. In some cases, as with poinsettia (E. pulcherrima), additional bracts below provide most of the color. The fruit is usually a dry capsule that releases seeds explosively, shooting them up to several feet away. Many euphorbias are succulents; these often mimic cacti in appearance and are as diverse in form and size.
All euphorbias have milky white sap that is irritating on contact or toxic if ingested (degree of irritation or toxicity varies, depending on the species). Before using cut flowers in arrangements, dip stems in boiling water or hold in a flame for a few seconds to prevent sap bleed. All need well-drained soil.Euphorbia cyparissias
European native forms a feathery clump to 8 in. (possibly to 16 in.) high; spreads vigorously by rhizomes, often becoming invasive. Slender, erect stems branch toward the tips. Crowded blue-green, needlelike leaves. Terminal clusters of yellow-green flowers appear in late spring to early summer; these may turn orange in poor soils. Plant may go dormant in winter.
This is the common species. Smaller in all its parts than P. grandiflora, with leaves to 2 in...
Native to Europe. Creeping perennials that spread by surface and underground runners to form low, dens...
Native to Japan, China, and Korea. Twines to 15–30 ft. Grows fast in mild regions, more slowly w...