The Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is a member of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). Euphorbia is a very large genus that grows all over the world and is commonly called spurge. There are annual, biennial and perennial Euphorbias. There are long-lived and short-lived species. Some species resemble cacti and some are trees. Some species are evergreen and some re-emerge every year. There is a Euphorbia for everyone.

The Euphorbia-species have unique floral structures. The false-flower (= cyathium) contains one female flower (just the pistil) surrounded by numerous male flowers (just the stamen) enclosed in a cup-shaped part (= involucrum) which is supported by an often brightly colored, leaf-like structure (= bracts). The modified leaf structures have the appearance of petals. Usually the false-flowers are clustered in large umbels or panicles.

Euphorbias also all produce a milky, white, latex-like sap. This sap is usually toxic and can cause skin-irritation and eye damage. The common name spurge is derived from the Middle English/Old French word espurge (“to purge”) because of the use of the plant’s sap as a purgative.

The Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is a very attractive Euphorbia. Not only because of the beautiful foliage. This evergreen perennial forms a mound of beautiful leaves that are green with a small yellow edge. When the temperature drops the leaves turn to shades of red, orange and pink and also the stems turn red. Not only the leaves but also the false-flowers are stunning. They are green and yellow with a little red and are clustered in many large panicles that rise above the leaves for a long period of time.

The leaves reach a height of 40 cm (16 inches). In bloom the Martin’s spurge grows to 80 cm (32 inches). After the bloom it is best to cut the stems to the ground. New leaf stalks will form from the ground.

The Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is a little less hardy than the species that dies to the ground in the winter. The Martin’s spurge is tolerant to drought, heat and salt. As long as the soil is well-drained he will grow fine in sun and part sun.



Attracts bees: yes

Characteristic: evergreen

Deer resistant: yes

Exposure: sun/ part shade

Flower color: green/yellow

Flowering time: April – July

Foliage color: green/yellow

Fragrant flower: no

Hardiness: -20 ºC (-4 ºF)

Height: 16 inches (40 cm)

Soil: normal/ dry