Euphorbia marginata 'Summer Icicle' is a highly versatile, ornamental plant and a great garden performer. Summer Icicle is a dwarf plant growing to 45cm (18in), the pale green leaves become delicately variegated very soon after planting outdoors and are topped by curious small florets.
Summer Icicle adds wonderful contrast to bright summer bedding and container displays and is at home in the border where it performs well in hot and dry soils. The flowers (actually inflorescences and their showy bracts) form small white cups, known as cyathia, at the top and centre of the plant. It is top branching so ideal for use as a cut flower.
Sowing: Sow in early spring to early autumn.
Soak the seeds for two hours in warm water before sowing. Euphorbia plants do not like root disturbance, so it is best to sow the seeds in place of growth or to use deep plugs or pots. Grow at 20 to 26°C (68 to 78°F) .Be patient, germination is generally very slow, it may occur in two to three weeks at but sometimes can take a few months.
Sow directly where they are to grow, once temperatures have risen and the soil has warmed. Sow on the surface of the soil and keep damp but not wet.
Surface sow the seeds into plugs or small pots using a good seed sowing mix or well drained soil and cover seed with vermiculite, do not exclude light.
Prick out each seedling as it becomes large enough to handle, transplant into larger pots to grow on. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out. Plant 30cm (12in) apart in sun and ordinary well drained soil.
Euphorbia need full sun to partial shade, with a well-drained soil mix. The plants should be well watered and be allowed to dry before watering again. The plants are native to poor soils and do not need fertiliser or excessive water. Too much of either will provide lush growth but at the expense of flowers. Cut back flowering shoots to ground level in late summer or autumn
To produce longer lasting cut flowers, sear the cut ends over a flame or dip them in boiling water.
Borders and Beds. Cut Flowers.
As with all members of the Euphorbiaceae, plants and seed are toxic if eaten.
When working with spurges, plants should be handled with care, especially when sap is showing. Always wear gloves since the milky sap is poisonous and a potential skin irritant. The latex is corrosive to the skin and can cause burns or dermatitis.
Euphorbias appear as natives across the world, with Euphorbia marginata originating from the plains of Texas, Colorado and surrounding regions.
Euphorbias are one of the most interesting and diverse genus, featuring an incredible 2,000 plus widely varying species, including many good garden plants. The plant belongs to the same family as the Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima.
The plant was named after Euphorbes, the personal physician to the Numidian king Juba II, who is said to have discovered the toxic and curative potential of the white and milky sap in the plant. The word Euphorbus derives from the Greek eu meaning ‘good’ and phorbe meaning ‘pasture or fodder’ thus giving euphorbos the meaning ‘well fed.’
The species name marginata is used for a number of plants, it simply means margined with another colour.
The common name ‘Spurge’ derives from the old French espurgier meaning 'to purge', as the sap of herbaceous euphorbias used to be used as a purgative, a laxative.
The name Euphorbia is named for Euphorbus, the Greek physician of Juba II, the King of Mauretania.
Juba was educated in Rome and married the daughter of Antony and Cleopatra.
He was apparently interested in botany and had written about an African cactus-like plant he had found or which he knew about from the slopes of Mt. Atlas which was used as a powerful laxative. That plant may have been Euphorbia resinifera, and like all Euphorbias had a latexy exudate.
Euphorbus had a brother named Antonius Musa who was the physician to Augustus Caesar in Rome. When Juba heard that Caesar had honoured his physician with a statue, he decided to honour his own physician by naming the plant he had written about after him.
The word Euphorbus derives from the Greek eu meaning ‘good’ and phorbe meaning ‘pasture or fodder’ thus giving euphorbos the meaning ‘well fed'. Some sources suggest that Juba was amused by the play upon words and chose his physician's name for the plant because of its succulent nature and because of Euphorbus' corpulent physique.
One species of Euphorbia, E. regis-jubae, was named in honour of King Juba II.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 15 Seeds Family Euphorbiaceae Genus Euphorbia Species marginata Cultivar Summer Icicle Common Name Dwarf Snow on the Mountain, Mountain Snow Other Common Names Spurge Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Mid Spring – Mid Summer Height 45cm (18in) Spread 45cm (18in) Position Full Sun to Partial Shade. Time to Sow Sow in early spring to early autumn. Coverage Germination can be very slow,