This week’s plant, the gopher spurge or upright myrtle spurge (Euphorbia rigida) produces upright stems clothed with lovely grey (glaucous) foliage, flowering in late winter. The flowers are insignificant; it is the yellow bracts that produce the colour. Bracts are modified leaves, typically small, with a flower or flower cluster in the angle between the main stem and a branch growing off it. Bracts are sometimes larger and more brightly coloured than the true flower. The plant needs a sunny sheltered position on free-draining soil. When cut, it exudes a milky sap which can irritate the skin. Native to Greece, the gopher spurge was introduced to Britain in 1808.