Growing Guide
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Spurge, Cushion

Herbaceous Perennial Flower

Euphorbia polychroma
Euphorbiaceae Family
Synonym: Euphorbia epithymoides

Long-lived, drought-tolerant and non-spreading, this mounded clump-forming plant is one of the best for borders. Bears dense, flattened yellow flower in the spring, and is one of the few perennials with showy fall foliage.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
Prefers protection from afternoon sun hot climates.

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates droughty soil
  • requires well-drained soil

Hardiness zones:

  • 4 to 8

Special locations:

  • rock gardens
  • xeriscapes
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 1 to 1.5 feet

Spread: 1 to 2 feet

Bloom time:

  • mid-spring
  • late spring
  • early summer
  • mid-summer

Flower color: yellow

Showy yellow floral bracts provide the color, not the flowers, which are nondescript.

Foliage color:

  • medium green
  • red
  • purple
  • other

Leaves are medium to dark green, or tinged with purple or red. In fall, they turn to a showy red, purple or orange.

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: cushion, mound or clump

Shape in flower: same as above

Blooms flattened and borne atop the erect plant stems.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • aggressive - Self-seeds if not deadheaded.
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to central and southern Europe and to Asia Minor
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, cuttings, division or separation - Will self-seed if not deadheaded.

Make terminal cuttings after flowering is complete.

Divide in spring, carefully separating the roots and discarding the woody central crown. Does not like to be disturbed and should only be divided to propagate.

Maintenance and care:
Cut the plants back by a third after flowering to prevent self-seeding and encourage bushy growth.

Caution: Milky sap can cause skin irritation.

Leave the dried foliage for winter interest and cut down it down in spring.

Does not like to be disturbed. Can go a decade or more without needing division.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

Spider mites
'Candy' ('Purpurea') is 1 to 1.5 feet tall with purple stems and purplish leaves and pale yellow flower heads.

'Emerald Jade' is about 1 foot tall with showy autumn foliage and bright green floral bracts.