Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Euphorbia rigida:
Gopher Plant

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Form: A clumping, succulent-like herb.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 1-2' high and 2-3' wide.
Flowers: Yellow to yellow-green, aging to orange, in terminal clusters.
Bloom: Winter.
Fruit: A seed pod which can fling seeds far from the plant.
Leaves: Blue-green, pointed, narrow to oval.
Stems: No thorns.
Wildlife: The flowers attract bees. Avoided by mammals.
Toxic / Danger: All parts are poisonous, especially the sap. Beware of skin and severe eye irritation when in contact with the sap.
Origin: Mediterranean region and eastward.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 7-10.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun for the most compact growth. This plant becomes leggy in part shade.
Water after becoming established: Every two months during drought, never in winter.
Soil: Well drained, dry, low in organic content, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline).
Prune: Remove stems after flowering, to avoid seed scatter, and allow new ones to grow. Wear gloves to avoid the sap. Cut back severely in early fall to rejuvenate.
Litter: Cleanup after flowering.
Propagation: Seed and herbaceous stem cuttings. Allow the cut end to callous over before planting. This plant self-seeds easily.
Uses: Xeric garden, unique specimen.

This plant is a member of the Spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). Another common name is Silver Spurge. It is care-free except that it reseeds freely. It thrives on neglect.

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Euphorbia rigida: Gopher Plant - flower

Euphorbia rigida: Gopher Plant

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Latest update: February, 2022