Euphorbia Donkey Tail Spurge garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest

Flower Count – day 6 – euphorbia

Euphorbia is a new plant for me.  I dipped my toe in that pool a couple of years ago, but had little success.  Then I began noticing more & different euphorbia in other gardens & those looked great.

Deciding I hadn’t tried hard enough, last summer I stuck my whole foot into the euphorbia pool.  I moved the past year’s trial plant to a new site (in hopes it would perk up), and I bought a different cultivar at the garden shop.  That made 2.

Then I admired the euphorbia at SK’s garden.  She says they grow like crazy & promptly dug some up for me.

Cousin SM also gave me a gift from her garden.

When I admired some euphorbia a drought tolerant landscape down the street, the resident assured me they’re tough as nails, and immediately offered to share some of her extras.  Wow.

Now I have 5 test patches going.

Donkey Tail Spurge
photo by SVSeekins

This winter it’s already paying off.  The transplant from down the street has survived – – and doesn’t this look suspiciously like blooms on the ends of the branches?

It’s called Euphorbia ‘myrsinites’.  The easier common name is Donkey Tail Spurge.  I think it’s pretty funky looking.

It lives at the base of a boulevard tree that sticks out into the street corner.  I figure this might be a good place for it, since this spurge won’t grow too high to impede the view of any drivers trying to pull into traffic.  I also have my fingers crossed that it’ll survive with far less water than it had last summer (transplants need watering until they’re established).

Purple Wood Spurge
photo by SVSeekins

The garden shop cultivar is also looking encouraging.  The bright tips look like flowers to me.  Even if they’re really something else, I’m going to count them as flowers anyway.  It’s called Euphorbia ‘purpurea’, or more commonly Purple Wood Spurge.

euphorbia - gift from SK
photo by SVSeekins

The gifts from SK have something groovy dangling on their tips also.  I don’t know if it’s a flower – but I like it.

Does it sound like I’m getting desperate to find blooms for Victoria’s Flower Count?  Maybe.  But just getting outside at this time of year has given me a boost, and a fresh perspective.   These hen’s & chicks look so decorative, I’m half way to declaring them in bloom, too.   🙂

winter Hens & Chicks
photo by SVSeekins

Yet I digress – Sorry.

I have my fingers crossed for the euphorbia Cousin SM gave me.  She warned me that it would look like it died off completely, so I’m not too worried.

The 5th sample of euphorbia is alive, but looking dormant.  It’s still early in the year, so I thrilled to have anything happening in the garden at all.

An internet search told me that poinsettia, rubber trees & cactus looking plants are actually euphorbia too.   I’d thought I was just stepping into a pool of plants called euphorbia.  Now I realize it’s a sea! The range is a bit mind-boggling

© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2012. 

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Flower Count

17 thoughts on “Flower Count – day 6 – euphorbia”

    1. I had that same thought – – and so did the spell checker. It kept telling me I really should change ‘euphorbia’ to ‘euphoria’

  1. Have enjoyed every day of your flower count so far. If I was at home in GP I would be really envious. But being in Maui even in a lot of clouds and rain has helped me enjoy your flowers but not have envy. You would love all the different plants and flowers here! J

    1. I’m glad you’ve liked it. I’m really not intending to brag, or cause envy. It’s meant to be a bit of celebration of the spring to come. How’s this, perhaps the folk in colder climes can enjoy the ideas of early blooms, but celebrate that there’s still a couple months before the being faced with the topdressing, weeding, & other garden chores that are starting here already…. how’s that work?

  2. Good Morning, Susie: I didn’t see one flower on the dog walk this afternoon, too rainy to look about much.

    1. Too bad. It’s raining here on the island, too. When I took a quick walk around the snowdrops were looking DONE, and the crocus were worse for wear (surprising how they survive snow better than rain it seems)…. but on the bright side, the euphorbia griffithii ‘fire glow’, the one that I got a couple yrs. ago… it had completely died back over winter & now looks like it might be sprouting a couple new shoots from the ground. My fingers are crossed.

      1. I am in Kamloops for a week so will start looking for flowers tomorrow. It is sunny and much warmer here then Vancouver but I hold out little hope of blossoms here yet.

      2. I’m looking forward to hearing what Kamloops is like at this time of year…. it’s so much hotter than the coast in the summer, but colder in the winter…. when does their spring arrive ? Pls. keep us updated. BTW, C & I went downtown on Friday night & say the really early cherry blossoms on view street. What a pick-me-up! Spring is coming… it’s coming…

      3. Hi Susie: I am trying to sign up Clarice to your blog. Hope it works. I am driving back to the rainy lower mainland in an hour or two. Barbara

      4. Hi Clarice, Hope the sign up works for you. I’ll be sending out another post in a couple days. If it doesn’t automatically go to your email, go to the blog itself at On the main page you’ll see the most recent post…. on the column to the right side, there is a section where you can ‘subscribe’… just fill in your email address 🙂 looking fwd to hearing from you cheers, SV

  3. Hi Susie! Love your comments. Not much escapoing winter hold yet,but I do have several types of hens and chicks and euphorbia in a shady spot in my soon to be snowless garden. You are right,one needs to be aware of the summer heat up here.

    1. Good to hear from you Clarice! Euphorbia and Hens and Chicks both survive your winters! I’m curious – What’s the average winter cold in Kamloops? And I know your summers BAKE – – if both plants can survive that heat, they must be REALLY Drought tolerant!! 🙂

      1. I have the plants lurking under some Rhodos,against the west fenceline,really well mulched soil with lots of water reserving stuff mixed in to it. Temp. has gotten way below freezing this winter,and more snow than I have seen since I moved here.(3 ft.) I had put the Rhodis in last summer,my front yard being quite shady,and they responded very well,I wrapped them securely in burlap and garden seat covers to protect them. If Barbara can show me how to take photos and send them to you, I will do so. I hope this will be my last move,it seems to become more dreadfull each time. I am very happy here away from city yuck but only a 5 minute drive to shopping,yeah!! Take care,C.C.

      2. Wow – Does every gardener on earth try to grow things that are really too delicate for the local environment ? 🙂 Your rhodo coddling sounds an awful lot similar to the lengths that some folks in Victoria go through to be able to have palms in the landscaping !! (& yes, I’d love to see some of your photos) … I totally understand about wanting to stay in one place for awhile. We’ve been here almost 5 years & the landscape is just now starting to look like it will become established. It takes so long … and so much WORK !! Could I put in the same effort at a new place? I dunno…. cheers, SV

  4. I also have a palm tree! Bring it inside in winter and it sulks until Spring. I’ve had it for about 6 years and does grow larger. As I mentioned earlier, front yard is shady-ish and so the palm tree is safe from extreme heat,and very attractive.A large tub on wheels keeps it happy and use special dirt and supplements to keep it happy! Have explored native flowers but they do not transplant well. Always carry shovel and pot in back of the truck just in case I find something irristible.Barbara is here and we are having,like always , a really great time doing absolutely nothing!


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