Muffin Tops

Right from the initial push of their soft fresh leaves, cushion spurge (Euphorbia polychroma) contributes to the delight of the spring garden.  They are a magnificent companion to spring blooming bulbs; their lemon mounds like fluffy pillows contrasting to the upright clumps of tulips and daffodils.  The stems of velvety green leaves keep their muffin top form over the season, and burnish in autumn to shades of maroon or rust.  The botanical name Euphorbia polychroma, comes from the intense yellow, reminding one of chrome.  There are over 2000 species of euphorbia, including our holiday poinsettias.  Their blooms are actually modified leaves called bracts - it is fascinating how brilliant bract colour can be.  Two other favourite spurges in my garden include donkey tail spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) and woodland spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides Purpurea), more on those in future posts!

Technical stuff – Cushion spurge/Euphorbia polychroma, easy and hardy perennial to zone 2, height of 12-18” and spread of 18-24”, full to part sun, prefers well drained soil, drought tolerant, blooms mid spring to early summer.  Can be invasive in fertile soil, but I find it easy to either pull or transplant new growth.

Posted on January 5, 2015 and filed under Perennials.