Euphorbia atropurpurea

euphorbia atropurpurea

As promised, I will start a quick series of a few Canarian natives, some seen in the botanic garden (posted yesterday) so I know the names exactly, and some seen in the wild that I hope will be named accurately.

The flora of the islands often features genera that are familiar to us but, due to the isolation of the islands and the, often harsh, climate, the plants have evolved in a different direction, in many cases becoming larger. While it is not quite ‘land of the giants’ the flora here, in common with other island flora, has developed big plants. But apart from that, many of the plants have adapted narrow or grey leaves against drought and some bloom in winter when the weather is more suitable for growth, being cooler and wetter. Remember that the islands offer plants a wide range of habitats so generalisations are tricky.

So first, Euphorbia atropurpurea var. atropurpurea. This beautiful small shrub forms a perfect dome of grey-green leaves when in its prime, later becoming less symmetrical and getting more character. It is found in the wild only in south Tenerife and in a few barrancos in the south west. There are many euphorbias in the islands, roughly of two types: this shrubby type with small, flat leaves and the candelabra-shaped succulent euphorbias.

The infloresences of this species are deep burgundy, making it the most spectacular of all the natives and among the prettiest of all. The small ‘flowers’ form a pinwheel at the ends of the flowering shoots and although flowering is usually in late winter and spring it can bloom at other times. Seed is sometimes available from rare-plant companies and it should be easy to grow in a frost-free climate in sun in a well drained compost.

, , , , ,

2 Comments on “Euphorbia atropurpurea”

  1. ontheedgegardening
    February 1, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    I am growing increasingly fond of euphorbias and this one is an absolute beauty! Can you get away with growing this outside where you are, if so it might do here with a little winter protection?

    • thebikinggardener
      February 2, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

      Hello. I have never tried to grow this and I am sure it would not survive frost. I think seeds are available (just about) and it would make a good pot plant for summer outside and winter under cover.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews


un altro blog sul giardinaggio...


four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!

Botanical Journey from the South

Photographic Journals from the South

Flowery Prose

Welcome to Flowery Prose! Growing words about gardening, writing, and outdoor pursuits in Alberta, Canada.


Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to save garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow


An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: