Euphorbia characias 'Tasmanian Tiger'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 2 Professionals
Common Name: spurge
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Pale yellow and cream
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Air Pollution


Best grown in dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Must have sharply drained soils. Plants generally have good drought tolerance, but appreciate some moisture in dry summer periods. Wet soils in winter can be fatal. Site plants in protected locations in the St. Louis area where winter hardiness may be a problem (some nurseries claim this plant is only winter hardy to USDA Zone 7). Plants are considered to be evergreen in warm winter areas. Plants prefer a Mediterranean-type climate and may show some stress in hot and humid summers. Plants may be short-lived.

Noteworthy Characteristics

‘Tasmanian Tiger’ is a Mediterranean spurge cultivar with variegated foliage. It was reportedly discovered in 1993 as a chance hybrid growing in a garden in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Plant parents are Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii ‘Lambrook Gold’ (seed parent) and an unidentified cultivar of Euphorbia characias (pollen parent). It typically grows from a woody base on upright stems to 3’ tall, displaying compact rounded growth. Pale gray-green stems may be tinged with purple. Non-succulent, narrow, linear, variegated leaves (3-5” long) are gray-green edged with white. Leaves are arranged in close spirals around the stems. Flowers appear in summer in large terminal inflorescences (cymes to 12” long). Individual flowers lack petals, but have attractive petal-like pale yellow and cream bracts with green center blotches. Broken stems exude a white milky sap that is both a skin irritant and poisonous. Species plants are native to the Mediterranean region. U. S. Plant Patent PP15,715 was issued April 12, 2005.


No known serious insect or disease problems. Use gloves when working with this plant because of the toxic plant sap.

Garden Uses

Interesting variegated perennial for use as specimen or in groups. Borders. Containers.