Alphabetical Plant Listing

Euphorbia polychroma (Cushion Spurge)

Cushion Spurge, Many-Coloured Spurge, Euphorbia Epithymoides


Long-lived and incredibly showy, Euphorbia Polychroma, commonly called Cushion Spurge, is a mounding, clump-forming perennial considered one of the best for borders. Growing in an attractive dome (or cushion), it bears dense, flattened golden-yellow flowers in spring, and is one of the few perennials to display a showy fall foliage. Its erect, sturdy stems bear cymes of inconspicuous greenish flowers in mid spring. Although the flowers are not showy, they are subtended by long-lasting, bright sulphur-yellow bracts which are exceptionally eye-catching. The foliage of medium green leaves turns to a showy red, purple or orange in fall, providing a long season of interest.

  • Typically grows up to 12-18 in. tall and wide (30-45 cm)
  • Won the prestigious Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society (1993)
  • Remaining attractive during all its growing season, this remarkable plant is resilient to most pests and diseases, is drought, deer & rabbit tolerant and is easy to care for.
  • A full sun lover (tolerates light shade), it thrives in dry, well-drained soils. Poor soils, including rock or sandy ones are welcomed!
  • Perfect addition to beds, borders, containers, cottage gardens or Mediterranean Gardens
  • Main varieties are Euphorbia 'Bonfire' - 10 in. tall (25 cm) with leaves emerging green but quickly turning burgundy contrasting with the bright yellow bracts in spring; Euphorbia 'Candy' ('Purpurea') - 12-18 in. tall (30-45 cm) with purple stems and purplish leaves and pale yellow flower heads; Euphorbia 'Emerald Jade' - 12 in. tall (30 cm) with showy bright green floral bracts and fall foliage.
  • Propagates by seed, cuttings, division or separation. Self-seeds freely if not deadheaded. Remove spent flowers or cut the plants back by a third to prevent any undesired self-seeding and promote bushy growth. Divide in spring. Doesn't like to be disturbed.
  • All parts of the plant are highly toxic if ingested. The milky sap may cause irritation to skin and eyes.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 5 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A2
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Euphorbia - Spurges
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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Photos: Botanik Foto, Gap Photos/ Pernilla Bergdahl/ Clive Nichols, Missouri Botanical Garden

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 5 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A2
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Euphorbia - Spurges
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Euphorbia - Spurges

Guides with Euphorbia - Spurges

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