Euphorbia polychroma in bloom
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 3a
Cushion Spurge has masses of beautiful cymes of yellow flowers with chartreuse bracts at the ends of the stems from mid to late spring, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its narrow leaves are green in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous brick red in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Cushion Spurge is an herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Cushion Spurge is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Planting & Growing
Cushion Spurge will grow to be about 18 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by cuttings.
Cushion Spurge is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.