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Favorite Spring Plant - Euphorbia

Euphorbias in Villefranche
Euphorbia in Villefranche
Euphorbias are a very unusual plants. There are over 2000 species worldwide in the genus, ranging from weedy annuals to trees. They originate mainly from tropical and desert climates of Africa. I saw many large tree specimen plants in the exotic gardens of the French Riviera. They love the Mediterranean climate. You have probabaly even purchased one at Christmas time without knowing its heritage. Poinsetta is a euphorbia.

Unfortunately they are also somewhat toxic. Euphorbias have a white milky sap can cause reactions to skin, eyes and should never be ingested. Care should always be taken when working around Euphorbias as the milky sap can cause mild to severe dermatitis and blisters. The sap will also irritate the eyes so care should be taken not to rub your eyes. I always wear gloves and long sleeves when I work around this plant to prevent myself from getting any sap on my skin. They are also known as spurge and many are considered weeds in many areas.

So why do I love them? In the spring they bring a lovely chartreuse green with their blooms and foliage. The airy chartreuse blooms on the cover of Martha Stewart's gardening issue is a euphorbia The plants also provide nice structure in the garden from their spiky leaves.


Click through for more pictures:

Euphorbia myrsinites
Euphorbia myrsinites

Euphorbia hybrid
Euphorbia characias ss wulfenii hybrid

Euphorbia characias
Euphorbia characias

Euphorbia martini
Euphorbia martini

Comments (4)

Wow, what interesting photo! I wonder if this plant grows here in Hawaii.

Marta [TypeKey Profile Page]:

It might but be careful in warm and wet climates. Euphorbias can become pests and be invasive. I'd check with Hawaii agriculture website first to see if they have any bans on Euphorbias

Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately I only have a lanai (balcony) and no garden. I was just curious as I would like to get close up to some of these interesting plants.

The milky substance made me think of the crown flowers and the plumerias which made me wonder if we had other plants with that milky substance.

I don't have a lot of personal knowledge of plants & trees but have enjoyed learning from blogs - including yours :-)


Such a gorgeous photo...that looks like a perfect painting. I love your photos, Miss Marta! They make me try hard to be better, like you!
Ciao ciao,

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