Euphorbia mellifera

Honey spurge

From £17.95

This lovely evergreen shrub forms an attractive dome shape with whorls of deep-green, pale-centred oblong leaves and, in spring, rounded heads of deliciously honey-scented ‘flowers’ (botanically ‘cyathia’).

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

Plant Biography

Euphorbia mellifera is an evergreen shrub which, despite being fairly rare in its native  home of Madeira and the Canary Islands, is popular in cultivation in the UK. It forms an attractive dome shape with whorls of deep-green, pale-centred oblong leaves and, in spring, rounded heads of deliciously honey-scented brown ‘flowers’ (botanically ‘cyathia’).

This lovely scent is reflected in both the common name of Honey Spurge and the species name from the Latin ‘mellifer’ meaning ‘honey bearing.’

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: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

If grown in strong sun this plant will stay more bushy and compact, but in part shade it can be a looser taller plant and occasional hard pruning will renovate back to a fuller smaller plant. Euphorbias contain a milky-white sap in all parts which flows when cut. The sap can be a strong irritant to skin and eyes, and gloves should therefore be worn when pruning.

Expert Tip

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