Spurge

Drought-tolerant, dependable spurge

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One of the first plants to make an appearance in my garden each spring is a vibrant, mounding spurge. It was living right in the middle of the front bed when I moved in. I made my diagnosis via the internet and then Jessica’s recent post about early-blooming perennials, with its cushion spurge (Euphorbia epithymoides), made me investigate further. I think what I have might actually be a ‘Bonfire’ spurge (Euphorbia polychroma ‘Bonfire’).

This plant makes for a fabulous groundcover. Those yellow blooms are actually bracts – like its poinsettia cousin – which will gradually turn red and green. And it’s pretty hardy. Last year, I moved a piece to another front garden. It looked really sad there for awhile, but after the winter, it bounced back and it’s just as glorious as the original.

My investigation also led me to discover that these plants are not only drought-tolerant, they are deer-resistant, which is an essential characteristic for any plant that is going to call my parents’ garden home. The deer call it home, too, unfortunately. At a local plant sale this past weekend, I grabbed a Euphorbia polychroma for my mom, but now she’s going to be on the lookout for others!

There are tons of different types of spurge. Here are a few recommendations from the Chicago Botanic Garden. I also found this new one from Proven Winners called ‘Diamond Delight’ (Euphorbia hybrid), which is quite delicate looking:

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'Diamond Delight' spurge

‘Diamond Delight’ spurge

Do you have any spurge recommendations?

A close-up of my 'Bonfire'

A close-up of what I think to be ‘Bonfire’

 

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