Best of the bunch

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

●● Euphor­bia

Their flow­ers may be in­signif­i­cant, but the bracts of this re­li­able peren­nial can be show-stop­pers, rang­ing from acid yel­low to deep or­ange.

They are bril­liant for year-round in­ter­est, fill­ing the gap be­tween spring bed­ding and the first flush of sum­mer peren­ni­als. Grow­ing to around 50cm in height and spread, they will grow in most soils which don’t be­come wa­ter­logged and most pre­fer sun, but will tol­er­ate par­tial shade.

Good va­ri­eties in­clude E. poly­chroma, a bright yel­low type which com­bines well with pur­ple sage, and the larger E. grif­fithii ‘Dix­ter’, which can grow up to 100cm and may need stak­ing, but whose deep or­ange bracts ap­pear in April and May and again in Au­gust and September.

Al­ways wear gloves when han­dling eu­phor­bias as they are all poi­sonous and pro­duce milky sap which can ir­ri­tate the skin and burn the mouth.

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