Bedding plants

Garden spurge: weed or medicinal herb?

Garden spurge: weed or medicinal herb?

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Surely you also know that the garden spurge is poisonous. Many therefore speak of a weed. But it is also a medicinal herb. More about this here.

Weed or medicinal herb?

The traditional garden spurge is primarily seen by the gardeners as weeds, which should be disposed of as quickly as possible on a compost. Especially since the spurge found in nature is one of the poisonous plants and the herbaceous spurge is also commonly classified accordingly.

However, in the past few years the easy-care, yellow to greenish spurge has been extremely cultivated and is now available as a perennial plant with a stature height of 10 centimeters up to 100 centimeters in numerous garden specialty stores. The low-growing spurge perennials for the rock garden are particularly popular, which include the roller spurge and the red-leaved spurge.

Even though many view garden spurge as a weed, it is still a medicinal herb. The milk of the spurge plants is still mainly processed in medicine today, for example in medicines for skin rashes, as a laxative and also in tumor treatment. But the milkweed plant is also said to make warts disappear quickly.

Appearance and flowering time

Depending on the variety, the spurge flower lasts from May to September. The flowers themselves always appear very delicate, almost inconspicuous and are therefore only perceived correctly by the human viewer within a complete perennial bloom. The flowers of the spurge are not a real blossom, but much more a pseudo blossom, i.e. a so-called leaf development that looks very similar to a blossom.

»By the way:

The poinsettia, which is so popular with us and which beautifies the living rooms with its red, pink and white leaves every year in Advent, belongs to the genus of milkweed plants.

Known spurge species for garden growing

  • Conventional garden spurge - blooming yellow, annual
  • Cypress spurge - early flowering from May, perennial, sunny location
  • Almond spurge - semi-shady location, blooming green from April
  • Rolled milkweed - looks like a cactus, perfect for the rock garden
  • Gold spurge - also known as multi-colored spurge
  • Red-leaved spurge leaves form a beautiful contrast to the flower
  • Marsh wolf milk - very tall growing (up to 100 centimeters)
  • Solstice wolf milk - blooming late (from July), prefers drought
  • Donkey spurge - their ripe fruit hurls the seed several meters in late summer
  • Small milkweed - annual or biennial, is planted as ground cover
  • Rock spurge - is also suitable for keeping in the rock garden
  • Woolly milkweed - has a yellowish autumn color
  • Broad-leaved spurge - forms pretty, green capsule fruits

Cultivation of garden spurge

You can plant garden spurge anywhere, since it places no special demands on the location or the soil. Nor does it need any extra care during the gardening season. You should just be careful that it does not spread out in the garden beds in an uncontrolled manner.

" Important:

Garden spurge should only be worked on with gardening gloves, as its milk is poisonous and can cause skin irritation. You also need to be careful not to get the milk in your eyes, nose, or mouth as it causes itching and swelling.