Euphorbia oblongata is one of the very loveliest euphorbias. With dazzling yellow flowers, vibrant lime green bracts and dark green, oval shaped leaves with pale green veins. Once in full growth the stems can be cut for flower-arranging or left to add a brilliant acid tint to the flower bed. The flowers are produced from earliest spring right through until early winter, making this fabulous and attractive plant one of the longest-flowering and most valuable of commercial cut flowers.
Although this plant is a short-lived perennial it is often grown as an annual. Euphorbia oblongata have an attractive branching habit and are as valuable in the border as they are in the cutting garden. There is a refreshing brightness in the openly expansive flower heads. Their acid green bracts tone effectively with almost any neighbouring plant.
Growing to a height of around 50 to 60cm (20 to 24in) Euphorbia oblongata thrive when grown in moist but free draining soil in a position with dappled shade where it'll have some direct sun for an hour or two a day.
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.
Euphorbia oblongata is a species of spurge native to Eurasia but can be found elsewhere as an introduced species.
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 oblongata and the common names of oblong or eggleaf spurge simply refer to the leaf shape. Euphorbias have been given the common name ‘spurge’
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.
Syn: Euphorbia coralloides.
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 100mg Average Seed Count 35 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 380 seeds per gram Family Euphorbiaceae Genus Euphorbia Species oblongata Synonym Euphorbia coralloides Common Name Eggleaf spurge. Oblong spurge Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Yellow flowers and lime-green bracts Natural Flower Time Early spring until early winter Height 50 to 60cm (20 to 24in) Spread 50 to 60cm (20 to 24in) Position Dappled shade Time to Sow Early spring to early autumn. Germination Grow at 15 to 20°C (60 to 68°F), germination is often slow.