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Great Euphorbias

These cool-looking, critter-proof perennials are easy to love, but where you live affects which ones you should grow

Fine Gardening – Issue 191
Cushion spurge forms an eye-catching mound. Photo: John Glover/gapphotos.com

I’ll never forget my first visit to England thirty years ago. It was April, and the first garden I set foot in was the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. The large shrubby euphorbias every where were a sight to behold, since I was coming from the cold winter climate of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region. I was sold that moment on these seemingly exotic plants. Since then, I’ve grown a fair share of hardy and tender plants from the genus Euphorbia, but truth be told, I’ve only scratched the surface. Comprising one of the largest plant families in the plant kingdom, Euphorbiaceae, commonly referred to as the spurge family, contains approximately 300 genera and about 7,500 species. It would take several lifetimes in many climatic zones to truly explore their full breadth. But throughout the United States and Canada there are spurges that will grow in your garden, either as hardy…

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