• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Euphorbia characias

Mediterranean spurge

  • Other common names Mediterranean spurge
    Albanian spurge

  • Family Euphorbiaceae

  • Genus Euphorbia can be annuals, perennials, shrubs or succulents, with milky sap and small flowers held within cupped, often colourful bracts

  • Details E. characias is an evergreen perennial to 1.5m, with vertical or arching stems arising from a single crown. Stems are biennial, leafy throughout at first, then bare, almost woody at the base, densely leafy above, carrying the flower heads in the second year. Leaves are lanceolate, blue-green, rather downy to 15cm long. Flowers are numerous, borne in large, terminal, cylindrical heads in early spring. Petal-like bracts surrounding the tiny flowers are bright yellow-green. May be a short-lived perennial, but often self-seeds

  • Plant range Mediterranean

Characteristics

  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Bushy

  • Toxicity All parts are highly toxic by ingestion, sap may irritate skin and eyes

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H4

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or East-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Loam

    Loam

  • Sand

    Sand

  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilChalk, Loam, Sand

  • pHAcid, Neutral, Alkaline

Size

  • Ultimate height 1-1.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 1-1.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in well-drained, light soil in full sun

Propagation Propagate by division in early spring or take basal cuttings in spring or early summer; dip cut surfaces in charcoal or lukewarm water to prevent bleeding

Suggested planting locations and garden types Drought Resistant Banks and Slopes Flower borders and beds Low Maintenance Coastal Cottage & Informal Garden Mediterranean Climate Plants Gravel Garden

How to care

Pruning Cut back flowering shoots to ground level in late summer or autumn

Pests Prone to aphids

Diseases Generally trouble free

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