Euphorbia Species, Wood Spurge

Euphorbia amygdaloides

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: amygdaloides (am-ig-duh-LO-id-eez) (Info)
Synonym:Characias amygdaloides
Synonym:Euphorbia amygdaloides f. purpurata
Synonym:Euphorbia chaixiana
Synonym:Euphorbia ligulata
Synonym:Euphorbia micans
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Martinez, California

Merced, California

Roseland, California

Santa Clara, California

Berea, Kentucky

Statesville, North Carolina

Kintnersville, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Austin, Texas

Provo, Utah

Locust Dale, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 24, 2015, DaylilySLP from Dearborn Heights, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

List of all synonyms for (Euphorbia amygdaloides) with a high confidence level:

Characias amygdaloides
Esula amygdaloides
Esula sylvatica
Euphorbia chaixiana
Euphorbia ligulata
Euphorbia micans
Euphorbia rubra
Euphorbia purpurea
Euphorbia purpurata
Euphorbia nemoralis
Euphorbia sanguinea
Euphorbia sventenii
Euphorbia sylvatica
Keraselma sylvaticum
Tithymalus sylvaticus


On Jun 2, 2013, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is an exceptionally valuable perennial, though it can be short-lived here in Z6a. It tolerates dry shade, though it prefers light shade and moist well-drained soil. The maroon foliage is a good color echo with the dark-leaved Heucheras, and both plants like the same conditions. Semi-evergreen here in Boston, and evergreen further south. The purple foliage tints are stronger with more sun.

The chartreuse flower bracts are very showy and liven pink-and-purple color schemes. Bloom occurs on the ends of last year's stems, so don't cut this plant back in your fall cleanup. Cut flowering stems to the ground after bloom to encourage fresh growth from the base. This is the only maintenance needed.

Valuable as it is, this species is being displaced in the trade by... read more


On Sep 23, 2012, rogue08 from Mississauga,
Canada wrote:

I have had this plant for 2 years now. It is in a partially shaded area in my front yard and is really beautiful. It is about 30 inches tall and wide and has a nice rounded shape with beautiful yellow flowers in the spring. I wasn't sure how to prune it but I believe I should cut the flowers off.

I noticed another user had trouble growing this in zone 5 which is where I am. I find with plants it is all about location/location/location.


On Apr 17, 2007, Leghorn from Salt Lake City, UT wrote:

Wood Spurge does well in Salt Lake City, Utah, where it gets hot in summer and down to about 0 in winter. It likes SUN. It spreads out and gets pretty big in short time. The small plants I planted a year ago are now about 18 inches by 18 inches. Seems quite hardy and easy to grow in a sunny spot. It doesn't seem to be invasive however. I love the colors. Very unusual! Red-purple leaves and green-yellow flowers! The leaves hold their color all winter, providing great "winter interest."


On Mar 19, 2005, saya from Heerlen,
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

Has dark burgundy foliage and flowers during spring with yellow flowers. Provides winterinterest because plant stays winter"green".


On Apr 1, 2004, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

We grow the Euphorbia amygdaloides purpurpea in shaded areas where it multiplies easily. This is poisonous for bunnies.


On May 23, 2003, SunshineSue from Mississauga, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

I live in zone 5-5 1/2 just west of Toronto, Ontario Canada. This plant was amazing in my garden last summer, but did not survive the winter. The plant tag listed it as being to zone 5 so I thought I'd be safe with it. I've since learned that it should be hilled up with mulch around the stem & root area in the fall in this region. I'd also like to know if this plant should be cut back come spring. The stems & leaves appeared to be dead come spring, so I did cut it back as I do with all my perennials with the exception of creeping phlox. The plant did not seem to be well-rooted, was very "wiggly" in it's location & I could just about lift it out of the garden come spring. It may have "lifted" due to the heave of the freeze & thaw cycle. Any help is greatly appreciated as I'd like to try thi... read more


On Mar 9, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Rounded glossy forest green foliage is upright; the whorls are reminiscent of a palm tree. Evergreen foliage looks great all winter long if protected from winter winds. Spreads underground by runners. This plant can be used in difficult shady spots, dry or moist. In early spring, flowers are large glowing lime green clusters, constrasting with the red-purple outer bracts.

This plant can get leggy; plant low-growing plants such as bergenia and primrose to cover the stems.