14 January 2012

Mrs. Robb's Bonnet, Euphorbia amygdaloides robbiae, Wood Spurge

Mrs. Robb's Bonnet, Euphorbia amygdaloides robbiae, is a popular choice for part shade that will become drought tolerant after it becomes established. That means you have to water it at least the first year.

Mrs. Robb's Bonnet and other wood spurges are deer resistant because the characteristic Euphorbia milky sap is slightly poisonous. Some gardeners with sensitive skin have strong reactions to the sap.

 Loved for the chartreuse blooms in the spring, Mrs. Robb's Bonnet is a sibling of Euphorbia pulcherrimna, Poinsettia, another plant loved for its leaves rather than its tiny flowers.

Some references say Euphorbia amygdaloides is native of Asia and invasive. Others say it is a European native that grows slowly. Ah, the experts.

Hardy to 10 below zero F, zones 5 to 9. Great for rock gardens, pots, mass plantings in dappled shade.

Native Sun
A Euphorbia sport, Red Martin called Red Spurge, would perk up a bed! It's a cross between  Euphorbia amygdaloides and Euphorbia characias.

There is an International Euphorbia Society. A link to their site is here. Look on the links - tips for harvesting and cultivating seeds as well as taking cuttings.

Several nurseries offer the plants, but so far, I've found only one source for seeds, a German company, Rare Plants.

I'll keep looking for seeds since I'd like to have a couple of flats of plants for the dry shade around the Osage Orange trees in the back.


loverbean said...

I do love your Euphorbia and will have to look for that variety to add to my garden. Came across your beautiful picture while trying to figure out which one I have...forgot the name! Perhaps you could view the picture of mine at A Mid-Winter's Spring, http://cashmereclouds.wordpress.com and see if it is a variety your recognize. It might be euphorbia blackbird.

Martha said...

Hi "loerbean" -
I visited your blog but you do not allow comments so I can't advise you.
Come back and visit and comment here any time.