Euphorbias : a large family of plants How to choose them?

We recense more than 2,000 species of euphorbiaplants that belong to the family of Euphorbiaceae. A Euphorbia (Euphorbia) is, in the majority of cases, recognizable by its greenish-colored cyathiums, inflorescences arranged in umbels, and by its fruits, small round capsules. However, there is a great diversity in Euphorbia, which can be perennial, biennial, deciduous or evergreen. Some are herbaceous plants while others are shrubs, even shrubs, and some are even classed as succulents. Everyone can therefore choose the Euphorbia that suits them best, but beware, these are all toxic plants.

Euphorbia: a plant to handle with gloves

All euphorbias must be handled with gloves because the diterpenes contained in the latex they secrete are extremely irritating and it is recommended to be particularly careful if you have children. It is recommended to install the Euphorbia away from the paths, the terrace and the playground.

Choose euphorbias according to their needs

We have seen that there is a great diversity of euphorbias and they do not all have the same needs, whether in terms of exposure or soil quality. They are certainly very numerous to like dry soils and full sun, but we can also find euphorbias for the shaded corners of the garden and fertile soils, and even to bring a decorative note inside the house.

Before buying a Euphorbia, it is therefore essential to find out about the growing conditions that suit it best because its plants hate to be moved.

Choose euphorbias according to the desired effect

Diversified in terms of need, euphorbias are also very different physically from one species to another. This concerns their habit, their shape, their size, but also their flowers, which come in a very wide range of colours. As for their foliage, it is also a decorative element which explains the great enthusiasm for these plants. It can be in different colours, plain or variegated, and allows you to create attractive contrasts in the beds.

Here are some euphorbia species classified according to their main characteristics.

  • A versatile Euphorbia : the Euphorbia of the Vallons ( characias). Rounded, it flowers from April to July. Yellowish green flowers, bluish green evergreen foliage. Easy to cultivate, it likes everywhere, in the shade as in the sun, and is satisfied with any garden soil as well as very stony soil.
  • A succulent Euphorbia: Euphorbe trigona ( a trigon). This cactus-like succulent is perfect for a dry, sunny Mediterranean garden.
  • Euphorbias with decorative foliage:

    • ‘Black Bird’dark leaves,
    • ‘Ascot Rainbow’orange-red young leaves and yellow-green adult leaves,
    • characias ‘Tasmanian Tiger’: variegated foliage.

  • A small-flowered spurge : ‘Diamond frost’ which is covered with white flowers in the shape of butterflies. It brings a note full of delicacy to the garden as well as to the terrace or the balcony since it is grown in the ground or in a pot.
  • Very colorful Euphorbias:

    • polychromaacid yellow slightly green,
    • griffithiired stems, beautiful flamboyant orange flowers, green and purple foliage.

  • Euphorbias for dry ground or for the rockery:

    • characiasfleshy bluish foliage, green-yellow flowers, very graphic plant,
    • myrsinites: This is the Euphorbia of Corsica. This creeping-stemmed plant has grayish-blue ornamental foliage that has earned it the nickname Blue Spurge. It needs draining soil.

  • Indoor Euphorbias:

    • millet: it is called Thorn of Christ or Crown of thorns. Its flowers come in a rich palette of colors, red, yellow, pink, orange, white. It is grown indoors where it flowers from March to October. A small stay on the balcony or the terrace is suitable for him provided that it is warm. Note that it does not support temperatures below 11°C at all.
    • the most beautiful: it is the Christmas Star or Poinsettia, which we like to buy at the end of the year in order to decorate our pretty festive table. It is a shrubby Euphorbia with spectacular bright red bracts. There are also cultivars with white or pink bracts.

The choice is limitless as the Euphorbia family is large. It is of course necessary to check before the purchase if they are not too invasive because some of them reseed themselves without limit.

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