The common name for Euphorbia is spurge and there are almost 2000 species. One familiar to gardeners is Euphorbia characias or Mediterranean spurge with it’s blue-green foliage and yellow bracts in spring. It thrives in mild winters and well-drained soils. From the book Ask Ciscoe I learned that it does not take well to being divided, but benefits from cutting back the dead or straggly branches. The variety ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is a hybrid and will give you an unusual feeling if you look at it too long (see previous blog). The bright colors of Euphorbia are distinctive and will add dimension to the garden, when viewed from a distance. Careful when cutting, the milky sap is an irritant to skin and eyes. Another familiar euphorbia is the poinsettia, a well-loved plant at Christmas time.