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Mediterranean Spurge 'Silver Swan'

Euphorbia characias

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: characias (kar-RAY-see-as) (Info)
Cultivar: Silver Swan
Additional cultivar information:(aka Wilcot)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Pale Green

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Palo Alto, California

Santa Rosa, California

Monroe, Louisiana

Cockeysville, Maryland

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

High Point, North Carolina

Sherwood, Oregon

Sumter, South Carolina

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 3, 2016, 00264167 from herne bay,
United Kingdom wrote:

I've tried to grow this plant twice and both times its proved unreliable.
The trouble is that all white foliged euphorbias are slow growing and not very vigorous, silver swan isnt as slow as some but its doesnt take much to set it back and for it not to recover.
The first one got rust, defoliated and died, the second one grew fine in the garden for about 6 months then in the summer half the stems drooped and the plant declined for no apparent reason (i dont have problems with any other euphorbias).
I have seen silver swan growing locally in a dry spot at about 4foot tall and seemingly with no care and it looks good. I can only say that this therefore needs the ideal dry sheltered conditions to grow well whereas green forms/wulfenii can cope with less ideal conditions.


On Nov 25, 2013, RosinaBloom from Waihi,
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

Euphorbia characias 'Silver Swan' is an evergreen with variegated, cream-grey-green foliage, and the flowers are white-yellow-green in spring, summer, and autumn. It has a trailing habit. All parts of the plant are highly toxic if ingested. The milky sap may cause irritation to skin and eyes. It has an 'Award of Garden Merit' from RHS.