photo: (right) Frank Vincentz
Coveted by bonsai collectors, this beautiful, rare Canary Island shrub will easily thrive in our similar Mediterranean climate here along the coast of California. Growing 3’-6’ tall (in the ground) depending on how much water it receives, Eurphorbia balsamifera forms a rounded shrub covered with dense, attractive long-oval shaped green or blue-green foliage above thick, gnarling, terracotta colors, branching stems, with the base stalks becoming very thick. The small yellow-chartreuse “flowers” are followed by showy, bright yellow berries. Though tolerant of Summer drought, the foliage will be more lush with average water. For the gnarly succulent look you can withhold Summer water. Like all Euphorbias, the sap of this plant can be TOXIC to varying degrees. Be sure to protect your eyes, skin & NEVER ingest!