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Euphorbia characias subsp. characias (Mediterranean spurge)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
1.2m
Max height
1.2m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Euphorbia characias subsp. characias

Other names

Mediterranean spurge

Genus

Euphorbia Euphorbia

Species

E. characias subsp. characias - E. characias subsp. characias is an upright, tender, evergreen sub-shrub with linear to oblong, grey-green leaves and, from spring into summer, dense, cylindrical clusters of small flowers surrounded by showy, yellow-green bracts.


Euphorbia characias subsp. characias is: Evergreen

Habit

Upright

Toxicity

All parts of the plant are highly toxic if ingested. The milky sap may cause irritation to skin and eyes.

Flower

Yellow-green in Spring; Yellow-green in Summer

Foliage

Grey-green in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest-free.

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Pruning

Cut flowered shoots to ground level in late summer or early autumn.

Propagation methods

Basal cuttings, Division


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Where to grow

Euphorbia characias subsp. characias (Mediterranean spurge) will reach a height of 1.2m and a spread of 1.2m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, Rock, Ground Cover, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean, Gravel

Cultivation

Plant in free-draining soil in full sun. If necessary, add grit or sharp sand to the soil to improve drainage. Dislikes winter wet, so a gravel mulch will help avoid rotting.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Euphorbia characias subsp. characias

Other names

Mediterranean spurge

Genus

Euphorbia Euphorbia

Species

E. characias subsp. characias - E. characias subsp. characias is an upright, tender, evergreen sub-shrub with linear to oblong, grey-green leaves and, from spring into summer, dense, cylindrical clusters of small flowers surrounded by showy, yellow-green bracts.

Foliage

Evergreen

Habit

Upright

Toxicity

All parts of the plant are highly toxic if ingested. The milky sap may cause irritation to skin and eyes.


Colour

Flower

Yellow-green in Spring; Yellow-green in Summer

Foliage

Grey-green in All seasons


How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest-free.

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Pruning

Cut flowered shoots to ground level in late summer or early autumn.

Propagation methods

Basal cuttings, Division


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Euphorbia characias subsp. characias (Mediterranean spurge) will reach a height of 1.2m and a spread of 1.2m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, Rock, Ground Cover, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean, Gravel

Cultivation

Plant in free-draining soil in full sun. If necessary, add grit or sharp sand to the soil to improve drainage. Dislikes winter wet, so a gravel mulch will help avoid rotting.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Euphorbia characias subsp. characias (Mediterranean spurge)

Common pest name

grape ground pearl

Scientific pest name

Margarodes vitis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

Main pathway; Vitis spp. plants for planting; already prohibited. However; further consideration of other pathways is required.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Euphorbia characias subsp. characias (Mediterranean spurge)

Common pest name

pink wax scale; red was scale; ruby wax scale

Scientific pest name

Ceroplastes rubens

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Based on its biology and low potential impact continued action on this pest in the UK would not be considered appropriate. It is likely to be of more concern to southern Member States of the EU; as it is an economic pest of citrus.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Euphorbia characias subsp. characias (Mediterranean spurge)

Common pest name

Banded-winged whitefly

Scientific pest name

Trialeurodes abutiloneus

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous whitefly native to the Americas with the potential to introduce harmful viruses to the UK. EU regulation should be considered and further assessed by EPPO.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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