Euphorbia Characias subsp. Wulfenii (Spurge) is a rather grand Euphorbia with upright stems covered in fleshy, glaucous blue-green leaves and topped with huge heads of chartreuse-green flowers with bronze centres from March to May. it has a slightly exotic, architectural appearance and forms a naturally rounded shape. Striking and slightly unusual, the narrow, lance shaped leaves have an almost cacti-like appearance. The stems are at their best from early Summer onwards, when topped with clusters of tiny flowers and striking, showy bracts that can be left until Winter (though you could deadhead these for neatness).
Ideally plant Euphorbia Characias subsp. Wulfenii ground cover in the middle or front of mixed style borders in a sunny location where it will thrive in poor, dry soil once established. Try partnering with Heuchera and Liriope or with tufted grasses. They provide pollen for pollinators so you will keep the bees happy, and they attract ladybirds and other beneficial insects.
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Euphorbia Characias subsp. Wulfenii (Spurge) are easy to grow in a sunny spot and will happily thrive in most soils so long as they are well-drained. Once established they are fully hardy and can tolerate periods of drought, in fact they prefer less fertile soil, so we advise not to feed them. Be very careful and always wear gloves when pruning or handling Euphorbia as their stems release a milky sap that is highly toxic when ingested and can cause significant skin irritation (on the plus side, this makes them deer resistant!).
How to grow Euphorbia Characias subsp. Wulfenii
Foliage: Evergreen, semi-evergreen
Soil and site: Well-drained – almost any soil except overly fertile
Flowering time: Early Summer to Autumn
Growth rate: Fast
Ultimate height and spread: Height to 120cm, spread to 120cm
Hardiness: Fully hardy once established
Aftercare: Each stem is biennial, so will produce leaves in its first year and flower in its second. Once the stem has produced a flower it should be cut right back to its base, or to a point where there is new growth emerging, in midsummer. This will make way for lots of new, fresh shoots.