Plant addiction is a serious disease, one that must be moderated if you want to survive. So, I have developed a technique to retard the otherwise unfettered growth of my plant collections, that is being very skeptical. And I'm more likely to try a plant that is very new to me than a cultivar of a plant I already know but have not had luck growing.
In the past I have not been very impressed with the performance of Euphorbia x martinii in this climate. It always seemed as though it did better in places with a bit more winter chill. But when I ran into Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' I began to wonder if I could make room for it in my collection. I purchased a plant and decided I would grow it as a container plant before I committed to giving it a permanent spot in the garden. But it was beautiful enough to make its way into my pots on stands display.
I bought the plant for the foliage, which has lots of nice autumnal tones of yellow, orange and burnt orange. Blooming well would be a nice bit of gravy. Well, my gravy boat has come in. The blooms (bracts) are variegated like the leaves are, and the effect is a golden luminous frothy display. AND... on top of that I thought wow I like this but then the display just keeps going. It must be going on two months or more with blooms. Not that the plant keeps replenishing dying flowers but the original crop shows no signs of fading. I thought they would be brown by now. And I've seen this plant in gardens while driving etc., it seems to be very consistent.
On a more silly note... how gay is the name Ascot rainbow?! First of all you think of a man wearing an ascot, pretty fruity right? And then rainbow on top of that! Kinda glittery name. It turns out the Ascot part comes from where the cultivar was discovered in Australia. But still.
P.S. this photo does not do it justice, it was taken in the blazing sun.