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Euphorbia rigida (Upright Myrtle Spurge)

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Scientific Name

Euphorbia rigida M.Bieb.

Common Names

Upright Myrtle Spurge, Gopher Spurge, Silver Spurge

Synonyms

Euphorbia biglandulosa, Euphorbia phlomos, Euphorbia pungens, Euphorbia suffruticosa, Galarhoeus rigidus, Tithymalus biglandulosus, Tithymalus rigidus

Scientific Classification

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Euphorbioideae
Tribe: Euphorbieae
Subtribe: Euphorbiinae
Genus: Euphorbia

Description

Euphorbia rigida is a small shrub with attractive steel blue-green leaves arranged in tight spirals around the thick upright stems. It grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and up to 3 feet (90 cm) wide. Leaves are lance-shaped, up 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long, and can take on these red hues in late fall. Flowers are small, green with showy chartreuse-yellow bracts that age to a reddish tan color as the flowering stems die back. They appear in late winter and spring in domed clusters at branch tips.

Euphorbia rigida - Upright Myrtle Spurge

Photo via plantlust.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 7a to 10a: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 35 °F (+1.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Euphorbias are very easy to care for. They require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. In fact, more die from too much care and watering than from neglect.

Euphorbias need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerate wet soil. Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well. It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water whenever the soil is dry several inches below the surface. Water deeply, but don't let them sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot. Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.

Euphorbia can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). It is usually propagated by cuttings. This can be tricky because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. See more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.

Origin

Native to the Mediterranean Basin and the Middle East.

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