Plant of the Week

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.

Euphorbia rigida
Euphorbia rigida
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