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Silver Swan Euphorbia

Euphorbia characias 'Wilcott'

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Silver Swan Euphorbia (Euphorbia characias 'Wilcott') at Roger's Gardens

Silver Swan Euphorbia flowers

Silver Swan Euphorbia flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  24 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  8a

Other Names:  Mediterranean Spurge, Wolf's Milk

Brand:  Monrovia


An attractive variety for a sunny border; narrow, symmetric, gray-green foliage with silver edges will blush with red hues in fall and winter; flower bracts are massed and showy atop the stems; adds a truly exotic dimension to the garden

Ornamental Features

Silver Swan Euphorbia is primarily valued in the garden for its ornamental upright and spreading habit of growth. It has masses of beautiful clusters of buttery yellow flowers with green overtones and creamy white bracts held atop the stems from late winter to mid spring, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its attractive narrow leaves emerge chartreuse in spring, turning grayish green in color with distinctive silver edges. The foliage often turns crimson in fall.

Landscape Attributes

Silver Swan Euphorbia is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Silver Swan Euphorbia is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Silver Swan Euphorbia will grow to be about 20 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 8 years. As an evegreen perennial, this plant will typically keep its form and foliage year-round.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Silver Swan Euphorbia is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features