You probably won't be surprised to hear that this is another underappreciated wildflower seen on the sides of roads. In fact, I had driven by a large patch for years before someone pointed it out to me. It wasn't long after an up close look at them that I located and purchased three for my garden. (GroWild native Nursery in Fairview, TN)
|Photographer: Smith, R.W.|
Euphorbia corollata is special. It has small white flowers with yellow centers that are held above dusty-green foliage. Several sites describe it as resembling Gypsophila/Baby's Breath flower heads. I have never seen Baby's Breath except in photos, so I can't say whether that's a good comparison or not. I just know I like Flowering Spurge's pretty delicate flowers. It blooms from July into September in both full sun and shade in my garden. It's a wonderful white flower addition to a late summer garden that is filled with yellow composites. It's also a deer and drought resistant plant.
Let's see~delicate white flowers in late summer, easy peasy care, long bloom time and drought and deer resistance, that all adds up to a keeper in my book.
|there are both male and female flowers on the plant|
Family: Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family)
Botanical Name: Euphorbia corollata
Common Names: Flowering Spurge
Tennessee Native: Yes. I've seen it growing in Couchville Cedar Glade.
Soil: Prefers dry, well draining areas.
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
Flower: Sprays of tiny flowers cover this plant in mid-summer. The small green nectar glands and their extensions can easily be mistaken for petals on this interesting flower. Euphorbias have male and female flowers on the same plants, I find the developing fruit quite interesting to observe.
Autumn color: The leaves and stem can color from pinkish-red to scarlet color.
Wildlife value: Attracts all kinds of wasps, small bees, flies, small butterflies and predatory or parasatoid insects that prey upon pest insects. Please follow the link to Illinois Wildflowers to find an extensive list of faunal associations. Flowering Spurge is rarely eaten by mammalian herbivores because of the toxic white latex in its foliage.
Toxic: Contact with plant, especially its milky sap, can cause irritation of skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.
Where to plant: This tap rooted plant needs to go into the ground as soon as possible. It doesn't thrive in a container.
|the fruit/pods split and expel their seed|
Saving Flowering Spurge Seeds: This plant produces small pods that will split and expel their seed when completely ripe. Gather the pods as soon as they begin to dry, but before they split. Spread the pods out to dry in a protected location, keeping in mind that they may still explode. Separate the seed from the husks. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Flowering Spurge Germination: Direct sow in late fall, pressing the seeds into the surface of the soil. Seeds require 30 days of cold stratification for germination. The plant will self-seed.
The source for seed collection and germination information; you can also order seeds.
Comments: I like this plant so much that I keep adding more to my garden. This is a hardy plant, even though it looks delicate. If it can survive a cedar glade, then it can survive almost anything we gardeners throw at it. The only thing I find troubling is my inability to take a good photo of it.
Happy Wildflower gardening
Welcome to Wildflower Wednesday and thank you for stopping by to see Euphorbia corollata
a sweet wildflower that you'll rarely see in a nursery, but, might see out your car window as you drive down a county road. Thanks also, for joining in and if you are new to Wildflower Wednesday, it's about sharing and celebrating wildflowers from all over this great big, beautiful world. Join us on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Remember, it doesn't matter if your wildflower is in bloom or not and, it doesn't matter if we all share the same plants. Please leave a comment when you add your url to Mr Linky.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.