Euphorbia, Cushion Spurge '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
Registered or introduced: 2006



Foliage Color:



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


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

This plant is resistant to deer

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 24, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is less hardy than E. amygdaloides 'Rubra'. Unlike the latter, it is not reliably hardy here. Here it is mainly useful for seasonal containers, not as a border plant.


On Jun 11, 2013, Cville_Gardener from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.