WSU Clark County Extension

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Mediterranean Spurge

Scientific name: Euphorbia characias 'Wulfenii'

Type:Herbaceous perennials
Plant Requirements
Zone:7 to 10
Plant Characteristics
Height:3 ft
Width:3 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:May to June
Bloom Color:Green
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description A native of Greece and Turkey, Mediterranean spurge is fine addition to any garden where a tall, striking, drought herbaceous perennial is desired. With its showy head of chartreuse flowers and whorled blue-green leaves this plant is joy to own.

Mediterranean spurge is a shrubby, non-succulent euphorbia, which grows to a height of 2’-3’ with a similar spread. Stems are purplish-green, erect, and smooth and woody at their bases and covered with fine, wooly hairs farther out. The leaves are blue green, linear, 4”-6” long and arranged spirally along the stems. The leaves are dense and crowded near the tips of the stems but are sparse or absent near the bases.

Dense clusters of showy yellowish green bracts (modified leaves) form in clusters above the foliage from spring through early summer. These bracts have purplish brown glands that produce nectar to attract pollinating insects.

This is a big, bold plant for sunny borders. In its native climate it grows wild on rocky hillsides, and open forests. In the Northwest it is often planted in hot dry sites. During winter the plant can be either left standing or cut back to the ground line. A word of caution in working with this plant: When cut, the stems exude a milky white sap that can cause skin irritation. Sap in the eyes can cause blindness.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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