African Milk Tree

Euphorbia trigona | Also known as: Euphorbia hermentiana | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

I always thought milk came from cows not trees!

The delightfully named African Milk Tree is a wonderful shrub that remains green all year round. Rather exotic looking, it should come as no surprise that it hails from warmer climes, and as such it needs to be kept indoors during the colder weather. This makes Euphorbia trigona ideal as a conservatory plant or indoors. However, it will happily live outside during the warmer months of the year and is somewhat of a sun worshipper, so place in a bright and sunny position. Be aware that this plant is toxic if ingested.

Rate it:
Plant
Known dangers?
  • yes
Dangers: comments
  • Avoid eating this plant, or you may have severe stomach upset. Its sap may irritate your skin.
Height [m]
  • 2 - 2.5
Spread [m]
  • 0.9
Dominant flower colour
  • Yellow
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Flowering seasons
  • Early spring
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
  • Early summer
  • Mid summer
  • Late summer
  • Early autumn
  • Mid autumn
  • Late autumn
Foliage in spring
  • Green
Foliage in summer
  • Green
Foliage in Autumn
  • Green
Foliage in winter
  • Green
Propagation methods
  • seed
  • basal cuttings
  • division
  • stem tip cuttings
Growth habit
  • Branching
  • Clump-forming
  • Erect
Environment
Acidity
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z9-11
Heat zone
  • H11-9
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -7 - 4
Heat days
  • 120 - 210
Moisture
  • well-drained
Soil type
  • sandy
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
Exposure
  • Sheltered
Usage
Standard category
  • Flowers & bulbs
  • Perennials
Grown for
  • Ornamental Foliage
Creative category
  • For Beginners
Garden type
  • Woodland
  • Cottage garden
  • Rock garden
  • City
  • Gravel garden
Garden spaces
  • Flower beds
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • up to 10 years
18 Related plants
Euphorbia

Milkweed

PLANTS Euphorbia

Euphorbia is the family name for a lovely shrub that can be found with blooms that range from white through to green and yellow. Also known as Milkweed or Spurge, depending on the sub-species it can range from fully hardy to that which are susceptible to frosts. It thrives best in a full sunlight or partially shaded location. Be aware that all types are toxic, and contact with the sap can also cause irritation to the skin.

Milkweed 'Blackbird'

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Milkweed 'Efanthia'

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Milkweed 'Gloria'

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Euphorbia Helena ®

Milkweed 'Helena'

PLANTS Euphorbia 'Helena' | -34°C - -7°C beginner Partial shade, Full sun

Milkweed 'Kalipso'

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Euphorbia amygdaloides

Wood Spurge

PLANTS Euphorbia amygdaloides | -23°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Full shade, Partial shade

Wood Spurge, or to give it its Latin name, Euphorbia amygdaloides, is a delightful plant and one that will certainly be a talking point in the garden. It has spoon shaped leaves that are dark green with deep red coloured stems. During the spring and summer it bears yellow green flowers. Extremely hardy, it thrives in virtually any location. However, the plant is highly toxic if ingested, so take care not to plant if children play in the garden.

Wood Spurge 'Craigieburn'

PLANTS Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Craigieburn' | -29°C - -7°C beginner Full sun, Full shade, Partial shade

Euphorbia amygdaloides Purpurea

Wood Spurge 'Purpurea'

PLANTS Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Purpurea' | -29°C - -1°C beginner Full sun, Full shade, Partial shade

Wood Spurge 'Rubra'

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Euphorbia amygdaloides var. Robbiae

Mrs Robb's Bonnet

PLANTS Euphorbia amygdaloides var robbiae | -23°C - -1°C beginner Full sun, Full shade, Partial shade

Euphorbia amygdaloides var robbiae also goes by the delightfully descriptive name of Mrs Robb’s Bonnet. It’s an evergreen plant that has bright green leaves and clusters of yellowish green flowers during the spring and summer months. It will thrive virtually anywhere, and a good choice for flowerbeds and borders, or anywhere you might need ground cover. However, it can be quite invasive, self seeding prolifically, so take care where you locate it if this might be an issue.

Horned Spurge

PLANTS Euphorbia ceratocarpa | -29°C - -1°C beginner Full sun

Euphorbia ceratocarpa, which also goes by the name of Horned Spurge, is an evergreen plant that flowers from early summer into the autumn. Its blooms are yellowish green in colour and it flowers in dense clusters. It also has interesting, grey green leaves that have very noticeable white mid-ribs, adding a wonderful texture to the garden. It thrives best in full sunlight, but be aware that it is susceptible to frost so will need protection during the harshest months of the year.

Euphorbia characias

Mediterranean Spurge

PLANTS Euphorbia characias | -18°C - 4°C beginner Full sun

Euphorbia characias, or Mediterranean Spurge can be found in various different cultivars and hails from the Mediterranean region of Europe. Some of the cultivars you might find include Thelma’s Giant or Tasmanian Tiger. It’s an evergreen shrub that blooms with clusters of nectar producing flowers that range in colour from white to yellow to blue. Interestingly, the plant has been used for many centuries to treat ailments such as warts and tumours, although naturally we don’t recommend this. In fact, be aware that this plant is highly toxic if ingested, so take care not to plant in an area where children play.