Plant of the month – May

euphorbia-robbiae1Botanical name: Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae

Common name: Wood spurge

Meaning of name: named after Euphorbus, physician to Juba, King of Mauritania

Size: 70cm high x 1m spread

This is an amazing evergreen plant for brightening up a shady spot. Unusual lime coloured flowers (technically they’re bracts, not flowers) sit high above glossy, dark green foliage, which provides great ground cover all year round. They look great planted with hellebores, early flowering geraniums and tulips. Try deep shades of purple for a dramatic late spring display.

Where to plant
Great in a woodland setting or in fact anywhere. They look great planted en-masse so perfect under trees where options are more limited.

How to grow
This is such an easy plant to grow, as it is happy in any soil except heavy clay, and isn’t fussed about sun or shade. It likes to roam though, so if planted in full shade you may find it wandering towards higher light levels. Two words of warning. It can be a little invasive, so during the spring keep an eye out for seedlings and remove them if they are spreading too far. This plant also spreads by rhizomes so when shoots pop up that you don’t want, just pull them out. As with all euphorbias the stems contain a milky sap which is highly toxic if ingested and may irritate the skin, so wear gloves.

Cut back flowering shoots when flowering has finished.

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