Euphorbia Robbiae – Weird but wonderful

euphorbia RobbiaeEuphorbia Robbia – Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae also known as ‘Mrs Robbs Bonnet’ is an interesting flowering plant for the borders.  At half a meter with a spread of one to one and a half metres in 2-5 years, this can make an interesting display.  Unusual as the flower spikes are a yellowy green.

I can’t even remember when or if I planted it in the border directly opposite the conservatory but it has certainly made its presence felt and has spread from a single plant to a large mass of spikes a meter wide in just three years.

It provides a nice contrast of dark green leaves which are contrasted by large spikes carrying a much lighter green but still vibrant display of flowers in late February / early March.

On the plus side, they thrive in most soil types, light/shaded areas or sheltered/ open aspects.  On the downside, I have found them to take over a border if not kept in check.

All parts of the plant are also toxic if ingested so any handling should be done with a good pair of gardening gloves and thorough handwashing after contact.

The dark green leaves provide foliage throughout the year and the flower spikes provide the additional colour contrast through spring and summer.

 If you have a spot in the garden which needs some all year round interest and you allow for the spread (or keep it cut back on your terms) this is a great plant to have and requires virtually no maintenance and is very easy to grow.

Euphorbiaceae the Spurge family is huge with many varieties worldwide.  Most are herbs but there are other varieties that are shrubs, trees and some such even resemble cacti. 

Another similar variety to Euphorbia Robbia provides similar displays in the garden is Euphorbia Abbey Dore which unlike its cousin requires full sun but provides the contrasting green colours all year round.