13 responses to “Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii”

  1. Anthony

    In Greek, “Euphorbia” means “spurge”, especially the Euphorbia resinifera. “Characias” means “Wood Spurge”, Euphorbia sibthorpii, which I think is now called Euphorbia characias wulfenii, i.e. today’s picture. “Characias” also means “suitable for making stakes or poles.” However, the picture would not lead one to such a conclusion. “Wulfenii” refers (I think) to the 18th century Jesuit botanist von Wulfen. Thus: “Wulfen’s wood spurge.” This is a beautiful Euphorbia, though the resinifera has a little more pzazz.

  2. Beverley

    Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii – Z7 –
    RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths

  3. Matt

    I’ve got one of these plants and I’d like to add it makes an incredible display with its masses of chartreuse floral bracts. Mine started blooming in late February, but the bracts are long-lasting: so I finally cut them back in late July when they were starting to look a little shabby. A word of caution: the plant’s milky latex with dry into glue-like globules on your garden pruners, so rinse them off immediately!

  4. Christopher Denton

    Thank you for the comments. I have found learning easier and more fulfilling when the source of words are known. Thanks again.

  5. Christopher Denton

    I have checked the dictionary on this one and found that euphorbia comes from the Greek word euphorbian after the Greek physician, Euphorbus.
    I note that the dictionary further indicates that spurge comes from the Latin expurgare to purge or purify. Do you think that this might have been used to induce vomiting or a natural enema effect to ‘purge’ patients of matter believed to be causing their conditions?

  6. Ron B

    In this shot it looks like we are looking at a compact cultivar with smaller leaves in tufts borne more closely together than typical for the species.

  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Ron, perhaps – it is the first year of growth, though.

  8. Christine

    what is the right thing to do with a Euphorbia Characias ssp. wulfenii in the fall? Does one trim the stalks or let them be as they are?

  9. Daniel Mosquin

    Christine, I spoke with David Grieser, the garden supervisor, about this. He says he may or may not leave them standing for the winter, depending on whether they look “ratty” or not. When they do look ratty (and this applies at any time of the year), he cuts them back harshly and they come right back.

  10. Natalie Chapman

    I have several of these plants that have come through their first winter in Vernon, BC, Canada (Zone4-5)….right now they’re looking pretty ratty and some of the leaves have browned from the cold – it did get down to minus 16 Celcius here this winter…they were covered with plastic pots with lots of air holes so they wouldn’t get damaged by the heaps of snow we had…I have taken off the covers to let the sun get at them….What should I do now? Just leave them alone? or cut them back to start fresh for a new years growth?…the stems look and feel waxy and healthy. Many thanks, Natalie Chapman

  11. Philip Fearn

    Do any of you know if this plant will deter moles ? I have been given some to try to get rid of moles in our model flying field . It seemed to work but before we could be sure the grass cutter mowed all of the plants down. and I dont want to waste any time tracking new plants down if it is a waste of time . Any suggetion welcome .

  12. Barbara

    I would really like to get some seeds for euphorbia characias. A few years ago they were offered by a seed catalogue and I was able to grow a couple of plants. Now I cannot find any source that lists them. In this area I have to grow them in containers but it is worth the effort. If anyone can direct me to a supplier, I would very much appreciate that help.

  13. Mary E. Roberts

    A complitmentary partner to plant with Euphorbia is the Hellebore – mine the (Hellebore) have been in bloom since January.

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