Cushion Spurge Plants

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Misc Wildlife Value
Shade Full Sun, Partial Shade
Area Coastal Areas, Exposed Windy Areas, Frost Pockets, Scotland & The North
Soil Good, Well Drained
Colour Yellow/Gold
Type Pot Grown
Also Good Seedheads
Flowering Apr, May, Jun

Euphorbia epithymoides / polychroma

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SIZES 1-2 3-910+
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Euphorbia epithymoides

Ensure that your garden blazes its way into spring with the zingy acid yellow flower-heads of Euphorbia epithymoides. From mid-spring, the terminal clusters of vivid blooms sit above neat mounds of dark green, lance-shaped leaves. This is one of those perennials that can light up the front of a herbaceous border.

Its bee-friendly flowers make it ideal for a wildlife area and an important addition to the RHS Plants for Pollinators list. Reliable and easy to grow, Euphorbia suits low-maintenance planting schemes, along with other easy-to-care-for perennials such as Alchemilla mollis, salvias and ornamental grasses.

Good for your garden

Cushion spurge is a perfect companion to spring bulbs such as tulips, bluebells and alliums. For cool, relaxing combinations, plant Euphorbia polychroma alongside other perennials with attractive green leaves like ferns, hostas and bergenias, or create a dramatic explosion by setting the vibrant yellow flowerheads against the deep purple of salvias and the soft blues of Russian sage and globe thistles in a Mediterranean border.


  • Colour: vivid acid yellow starry flowerheads
  • Flowering: Apr-Jun
  • Foliage: dark green leaves developing bronze tints in autumn
  • Height: 40cm
  • Spread: 60cm
  • Position: full sun to semi-shade
  • Soil: well drained, or moist but well drained
  • Loved by bees and other pollinating insects

Medical history

Both Latin and common names derive from medical associations. The etymology of 'spurge' comes from the Old French 'espurgier' - to purge, based on the traditional use of the poisonous sap as a purgative. The botanical name, according to Pliny, references Euphorbus, physician to Juba King of Mauritania, who supposedly used the plant for its medicinal properties.

Formerly classified as either Euphorbia villosa and Euphorbia polychroma.

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Bareroot planting is best done between October and April
Bareroot and potted - what's the difference?

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