Spurge is a word…

six foot spurges on the seawall

six foot spurges on the seawall

I was out taking photographs of some huge flowering ‘spurges’ on the seawall when two guys came up to me.

One started taking a photo of the same plant while the other said, “Excuse me, but could you tell the name of this plant?”

“It’s a Euphorbia.”

“Euphorbia???? That doesn’t even sound like a real word.”

“It’s also known as a ‘Spurge’.”

“Spurge????  That doesn’t sound like a real word either…”

I see from my plant ‘stick’ that it’s also known as ‘Wolfsmelk’, ‘Wolfsmilch’ or ‘Törel’. The ‘melk’ or ‘milch’ probably refers to the white milky sap which can burn the skin and cause serious damage if it gets in your eyes.

Despite this, and whatever it’s called, it is still a beauty plant that comes in all sizes and colours. Though even one of the huge plants that grow along the seawall would take over my entire garden, there are some smaller ones that are quite charming.

Below is a shot of my ‘Euphorbia martinii’. It is smallish (only 40 cm high) with purple leaves and these lime/red blooms showing up in April/May.
Spurge (Euphorbia) EuphorbiaMartiniiwThis Euphorbia griffithii is quite invasive but so beautiful I keep it around anyway. The fire red blooms show up around April in Vancouver.
Euphorbia Red BloomI think this is a ‘donkey tail spurge’, Euphorbia myrsinites. It is a ‘hanging’ euphorbia, evergreen and I have it in a pot where its lemon yellow flowers contrast nicely with some purple-reddish succulents…
Euphorbia with Yellow BloomI think this euphorbia is called cushion spurge. It is a smaller ‘garden’ euphorbia with chartreuse flowers.
Spurge with Yellow BloomThis euphorbia is near the art school, where some art student has given it an unique look…
euphorbia painted blue

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