Cushion Spurge

By: C. Colston Burrell
Related to poinsettias, cushion spurges are among the See more pictures of perennial flowers.

Cushion spurge is in the same genus as the familiar Christmas poinsettia. In both plants, the flowers are very small and what we perceive to be petals are really colored leaves (called bracts), in various reds and white in poinsettias and bright yellow in the spurges. They are named in honor of a Greek physician called Euphorbius.

: Cushion spurges are plants with a milky sap (irritating to some people), with oblong, green leaves, growing in a clump 12 to 14 inches high and covered with yellow to chartreuse bracts in spring; the color itself looks as though it were applied with an artist's airbrush. The leaves turn red in the fall. Ease of care: Easy.


: Spurges prefer a good, well-drained garden soil in full sun and partial shade in hot climates.

: By seed.

: The yellow glow of this plant is startling in spring. Plants are best in front of a low wall or grouped on a low bank.

Cushion spurge related species: Euphorbia Myrsinites, or the donkeytail spurge, has bright yellow bracts in early spring and bluish-gray leaves on 10-inch stems that turn pink in the summer. Plants sprawl and are best when tumbling over a low stone wall.

Scientific name of cushion spurge: Euphorbia polychroma


Want more gardening information? Try: