Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cushion Spurge
Euphorbia 'Blackbird'

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Blackbird
Additional cultivar information: (PP17178, aka Nothowlee)
Hybridized by Howard/Leeding; Year of Registration or Introduction: 2006

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 26 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Cville_Gardener On Jun 11, 2013, Cville_Gardener from Middle TN
United States (Zone 7a) wrote:

Blackbird Cushion Spurge is tolerant of most soils including clay, both dry and moist, as long as they drain fairly quickly. It doesn't like being in waterlogged soils for prolonged periods. It can tolerate drought but looks better with an occasional deep watering. It usually doesn't need any supplemental watering in my location.

Positive palebo7 On Apr 29, 2013, palebo7 from Dallas, TX wrote:

I love Euphorbias for their unique foliage and flowering characteristics.

As a landscape design professional, I am always "testing" plants in my garden - a half acre site in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, TX
Most of our property is shaded, and it's a rocky, alkaline soil - although Ive made a lot of raised beds with better bed prep.

While Euphorbias are said to only be for full sun - part shade, I have some planted in a fair amount of shade / dappled sun light and it performs quite well.
The E. Blackbird is in the most shade, but I also have E. Ascot Rainbow, E.Tasmanian Tiger, E. Myrsinites, and E. Shorty.
Of course the ones in full sun are much more full, but still they don't seem to mind the shade.

Neutral Kaelkitty On Dec 31, 2010, Kaelkitty from Adelaide
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

Discovered by Mark Howard and Simon Leeding at Notcutts Nursery in Suffolk England. Introduced to the horticultural trade by Plant Haven Inc. It is a sport of E. 'Red Wing' and therefore shares the same parentage. The full name of the plant is thus Euphorbia martinii 'Blackbird'. Euphorbia martinii is Euphorbia amygdaloides X Euphorbia characias.

Positive HostaHost On May 8, 2010, HostaHost from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is definitely one worth having! It is so unusual; passersby who visit almost always do a second-take. The leaves are almost iridescent - they seem to shimmer with the rainbow of subtle colors. The chartreuse colored flowers absolutely makes for a stunning combination.

Positive rcn48 On Nov 15, 2007, rcn48 from Lexington, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' is outstanding! It's the first year in our gardens and even though it hasn't bloomed yet the dark foliage is wonderful combined with gold foliage plants to create a real stand out in the garden. An evergreen perennial that appreciates a pruning after flowering in the spring. Caution: as with all Euphorbias, avoid skin contact with the milky sap.


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

Brea, California
Carlsbad, California
Glendale, California
La Canada Flintridge, California
Oakhurst, California
San Jose, California (2 reports)
San Leandro, California
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Rosa, California
Tallahassee, Florida
Wichita, Kansas
Catonsville, Maryland
Cockeysville, Maryland
Madison, Mississippi
Sarcoxie, Missouri
Riverhead, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Portland, Oregon
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
Lexington, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Atlanta, Texas
Austin, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Lexington, Virginia
Graham, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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