Euphoric Over Euphorbia?
No, not euphoric really, though I found it impossible to resist the double alliteration. But I am pleased that the Euphorbia corollata I planted about five years ago is finally establishing itself. This plant is native to Illinois and goes by the common names of Flowering Spurge or Prairie Baby’s Breath. I stick with the latter, which though longer sounds much nicer.
Actually, I don’t like most Euphorbias. Their odd minimalist flowers that don’t look like flowers are unappealing to me. Prairie Baby’s Breath flowers look like flowers, and in my view it is far more attractive than most others of its genus.
This plant has a taproot, and like many taprooted plants it may be slow to establish. It is drought-tolerant and likes sun and medium to dryish soils. Otherwise, it is adaptable to any soil that is well-drained.
Prairie Baby’s Breath has a very long period of bloom, from four to as much as eight weeks. The seeds are eaten by Mourning Doves and some other birds. The flowers are beneficial for many native bees.
In autumn the foliage of E. corollata can turn a nice red. It also has a toxic sap that can irritate the skin, so please don’t go rubbing the sap on yourself. Apparently the plant has also been used as a laxative, but I can’t say that I’ve tried it.
There’s a good deal of this plant at the Lurie Garden, but it’s hard to find in garden centers. If you want some you will probably need to order it from an online nursery specializing in Midwestern natives, such as Prairie Moon.
That’s all for now.
This is an amazing plant! I have some in my garden that thrives despite being overwhelmed by zinnias and other big, beefy plants. It just slides between them and does its thing. I love it!
I’ve never heard of this charming Euphorbia. I have a few that I grow mainly for the foliage, although they do have interesting flowers. I like this white one.
Very nice and one to look out for over here…
I like the name Prairie Baby’s Breath, too. Very pretty flower!
A new one for me & thanks for the sourcing tip !
That’s lovely. I agree Prairie Baby’s Breath is much preferable to anything with spurge in the title.
“Spurge” sounds like something rather rude.
Oh I love it! Baby’s Breath flowers are so pretty, and the fact that it’s a native and drought tolerant makes it a winner! It looks like it doesn’t have much of a footprint and would be great at squeezing in between plants.
It seems to be good at squeezing in, but give it time and it creates clumps.
Dang, and here I was wanting to rub on the plants. I have something similar growing in my wilderness corner. I’ll have to do some research, take some pics and see if it’s related. Although yours is blooming much fuller and prettier than what I have.
Always consult a botanist before rubbing plants.
What a lovely flower . Makes me want to plant it also. Thank you sir sharing with us .
You know I’m the one who gave Euphorbia corollata the ‘nickname’ of Prairie Baby’s Breath. It was so obvious–the original Baby’s Breath grew in my childhood garden.
I learned about this plant from you – I first saw it in your garden! I didn’t know that you came up with that common name. A big improvement on “Flowering Spurge”.
Help Jason, I’m not a fan of Euphorbias, but I do like this one, probably because it doesn’t look like a Euphorbia. The genus is so large though that there is probably a plant for everyone within it. I recognise “Baby’s Breath” as Gypsophila, the two look similar.
I feel the same way – I don’t like Euphorbias, but I like this plant because it doesn’t look like a Euporbia.
I did not know do this euphorbia. It is very pretty and the long flowering period is appealing.
And it’s native to Kentucky!
What a beauty. I don’t remember hearing about this plant before. It is worth the wait for it to establish. I don’t advise using it medicinally. If it will irritate your skin outside…
I’ve never heard of this one. It has pretty flowers!
Sweet and delicate!
I don’t remember seeing this one on our prairies, but in fact it’s shown in every county I visit. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it. We do have two other euphorbias that I just adore: E.marginata (snow on the mountain) and E. bicolor (snow on the prairie). When you’re a little short on the real thing, any sort of snow will do. In truth, I think the bracts are pretty, and the tiny little flowers are fun to photograph with a macro lens.
I’m glad to know about this “new” one.
Not familiar with either of those Euphorbias. I wonder how far north they range.
Such sweet little flowers – it may have taken a while to get established but it’s obviously been worth it.
Very nice, although not obviously easy to get hold of here in the UK
It really is a lovely plant, I had it for a few years then it disappeared. Must look out for it.xxx
Wonder why it disappeared on you.