Euphorbia rigida
Garden Plant Information

Euphorbia rigida


Euphorbia rigida


Euphorbia rigida (also called spurge and milkweed)







General description

Sprawling hardy perennial grown for architectural value and the bright flowers which appear in late winter. Good for dry, scree and gravel gardens, containers, edging or as a specimen. Drought tolerant. Attractive to insects.


The above photos were taken at Beth Chatto's dry garden at Elmstead Market, near Colchester, which is a good place to see other Euphorbias too.

Season of interest

All year round but looks best in late winter and early spring.

Key horticultural features

  1. Habit - lax, clump-forming. H: up to 38cm S: up to 1m.

  2. Stems - lax and rounded, showing old leaf scars. The stems start a rosy colour at the base, paling to a greenish buff as the leaves fall.

  3. Leaves - borne spirally around the stems, pointed, wedge-shaped, glaucus-olive green.

  4. Flowers - clusters of gold bracts borne at the tips of stems, each bract enclosing two to three flowers.

Cultural details


Sunny, sheltered, well-drained.


Tolerates poor soil.


Frost hardy.


Cut back older flowering stems to allow the new stems, already forming the base, light and air.


The sap from this plant is irritant so wear gloves to avoid skin contact.


By division or basal cuttings. May also self seed in mild areas.