Euphorbia mellifera

Honey spurge, Canary Island Spurge

From: £12.95

Euphorbia mellifera, also known as the honey spurge or Canary Island spurge, is a visually stunning and drought-resistant evergreen shrub originating from the Canary Islands. This Euphorbia variety is highly sought after for its unique landscape characteristics. Typically reaching a height of 2-3 metres, it forms a dense, multi-branched structure with a domed crown.

The flowers have a delicious, honey-like scent and the evergreen foliage provides year-round interest.

Euphorbia mellifera is a favourite among gardeners and landscapers due to its resilience to drought and minimal upkeep requirements. Overall, Euphorbia mellifera is a captivating and hardy choice for gardens and landscapes, providing both visual and aromatic appeal.


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Origin: Madeira and Canary Islands
Genus: Euphorbia
Species / Cultivar: mellifera
Common Name: Honey spurge, Canary Island Spurge

Plant Biography

Belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family, Canary Island Spurge was discovered and classified by early botanists and explorers. This species is renowned for its striking appearance, characterised by grey-green lance-shaped leaves and clusters of small greenish-yellow flowers. Its name, “mellifera,” alludes to the honey-like fragrance of its blossoms. Euphorbia mellifera has historical significance among indigenous communities and has been introduced to horticulture due to its adaptability to arid conditions, making it a popular choice for ornamental gardens.

Euphorbia mellifera
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Temperature: Down to at least -5 if in well drained soils°C
Temperature range at which this plant is healthiest and grows best.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: A little
Easy to look after but may occasionally require some attention in order to thrive.
Situation: Full Sun
Wants direct, unfiltered sunlight most of the day, such as a south facing position.
Eventual Height: 1.5-2.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 1.5-2.5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Habit: Semi Evergreen
May only remain evergreen in milder winters, or only loose leaves for a short period.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

This drought-tolerant evergreen thrives in well-draining soil and full sunlight. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry between watering, especially during the growing season in spring and summer. Protect it from harsh frost, as temperatures below -5°C can burn the foliage. Pruning is rarely needed, but you can remove dead or damaged branches in late winter or early spring.

Euphorbia mellifera needs full sun to thrive and maintain a healthy, compact habit. It is extremely wind-resistant and perfect for rooftops and coastal gardens.

Be cautious when handling it, as its milky sap can be toxic and irritate the skin and eyes.

Overall, Euphorbia mellifera is a low-maintenance plant once established in a suitable environment.

Expert Tip

In summer the seed heads dry and can be heard 'pinging' seeds about with abandon - you will often find seedlings appearing in the most unlikely places!