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Twiggy Spurge

Euphorbia x pseudovirgata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Euphorbiaceae (Spurge)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, hedgerows, roadsides, rocky places, wasteland.

Green, no petals
Small yellowish-green flowers. The bracts are yellowish-green and petal-like in appearance.
The fruit is a capsule.
An upright, deciduous perennial flower with narrow, lance-shaped leaves in whorls around the stem. The leaves are often tinged red in autumn.
Other Names:
Leafy Spurge.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Euphorbia x pseudovirgata is a hybrid perennial herbaceous plant that is a cross between Euphorbia cyparissias and Euphorbia virgata. It is a member of the Euphorbia family and is known for its small, bright green, cup-shaped flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer. The plant can grow up to 30 cm tall and has a spreading habit. It prefers well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade. It is commonly used as a ground cover or in rock gardens. As with all Euphorbias, the sap is toxic and can cause skin irritation and stomach upset if ingested.


Twiggy spurge, also known by its botanical name Euphorbia x pseudovirgata, is a unique and visually striking plant that has gained popularity in recent years. This plant is a hybrid of two other Euphorbia species, Euphorbia aeruginosa and Euphorbia flanaganii, and is native to South Africa.

Twiggy spurge is a succulent plant, which means that it is adapted to thrive in arid conditions. Its stems are slender and cylindrical, and they grow in a tangled, twisting pattern that gives the plant its distinctive appearance. The stems are a blue-green color and are covered in small, fleshy leaves that help the plant to retain moisture.

One of the most striking features of twiggy spurge is its flowers. They are small and green, and they grow in clusters along the stems. The flowers are actually a type of modified leaf called a bract, and they surround the tiny, true flowers in the center of the cluster. The bracts have a unique texture that is somewhat reminiscent of paper, and they add an interesting visual element to the plant.

Like all Euphorbia species, twiggy spurge contains a milky sap that can be toxic if ingested or if it comes into contact with the skin. This sap can cause irritation and even blistering, so it's important to handle the plant with care and to keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Twiggy spurge is a relatively low-maintenance plant that is well-suited to indoor growing. It prefers bright, indirect light and well-draining soil, and it should be watered sparingly to avoid overwatering. If you're looking for a unique and visually striking plant to add to your collection, twiggy spurge is definitely worth considering. Its twisting stems and unusual flowers are sure to add interest and texture to any space.

Twiggy spurge is a great plant for those who are looking to add some unique visual interest to their indoor gardens. It is also popular for use in outdoor gardens in areas with mild climates, where it can add some unique texture to garden beds or rock gardens.

One of the great things about twiggy spurge is that it is relatively easy to propagate. It can be propagated from stem cuttings, which should be taken in the spring or summer. Simply cut a stem from the plant, allow it to callus over for a few days, and then plant it in well-draining soil. It should begin to root and grow in just a few weeks.

In addition to its ornamental value, twiggy spurge has some practical uses as well. Its sap has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including skin conditions, warts, and ringworm. However, it's important to note that the sap can be highly toxic and should only be used under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional.

Twiggy spurge is a fascinating plant that offers both visual interest and potential medicinal benefits. If you're looking to add a unique and low-maintenance plant to your indoor or outdoor garden, it's definitely worth considering. Just be sure to handle it with care and take precautions to avoid contact with the toxic sap.

Twiggy spurge is also a great choice for those who are looking for a plant that is environmentally friendly. Euphorbia species, including twiggy spurge, are known for their ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen, which can help to improve the air quality in your home. This makes it a great choice for those who are looking to create a more eco-friendly living space.

Another interesting aspect of twiggy spurge is that it has been used in traditional African medicine for many years. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, from headaches and fever to asthma and rheumatism. While more research is needed to fully understand its medicinal properties, it's clear that twiggy spurge has a long and fascinating history of use in traditional medicine.

In terms of care, twiggy spurge is relatively low-maintenance, which makes it a great choice for those who are new to gardening or who have a busy lifestyle. It prefers bright, indirect light and should be watered sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. It is also important to protect it from frost and extreme heat, as these conditions can be harmful to the plant.

In conclusion, twiggy spurge is a unique and visually striking plant that offers both ornamental and practical value. Its twisted stems, unusual flowers, and eco-friendly properties make it a great choice for indoor and outdoor gardens alike. Whether you're looking to add some texture to your space or to explore the potential medicinal benefits of this fascinating plant, twiggy spurge is definitely worth considering.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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