April 16th, 2015

garden journal

Flower of the week: Euphorbia characias ‘Black Pearl’

140415euphorbiaflower

I love the acid greens and yellows of euphorbias in spring. The characias types make quite big shrubby plants, as this ‘Black Pearl’ has done, now that I’ve found the right place for it in the garden. It started off in the death bed, which killed it, but luckily I’d taken cuttings and so didn’t lose it. I’m particularly fond of the low domes of E. epithymoides . According to Margery Fish, this was once common in cottage gardens. I had it in my old garden, snapped up a new plant when I saw it but failed with it in that same doomy bed. I dug it out and now have two plants potted up, waiting for a new home.

Most euphorbias are lovely but beware the runners. E. cyparrisias is a low growing charmer but gets everywhere. I would never plant E. robbiae again except to cover rough, dry shade in a very big garden. It’s a real thug.