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Euphorbia 'Jessie'

Euphorbia 'Jessie'

Euphorbia 'Jessie' autum color

Who????????? Jessie, that's who!

Euphorbia 'Jessie' is the first plant that I've felt was worthy of patenting. She's an interspecific Euphorbia hybrid, a cross between E. griffithii and E. polychroma and she brings the best qualities of both her parents into a dramatic 48" to 60" plant. In case you're unfamiliar with these particular species of Euphorbia or with the genus Euphorbia in general, I'll educate you a bit about the Euphorbia family.

Euphorbia is a genus of plants belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae. Consisting of about 2160 species, Euphorbia is one of the most diverse genera in the plant kingdom. Members of the family and genus are sometimes referred to as Spurges. The genus is primarily found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and the Americas, but also in temperate zones worldwide. Succulent species originate mostly from Africa, the Americas and Madagascar. There exists a wide range of insular species, namely on the Hawaiian Islands where spurges are collectively known as "Akoko".

The common name "Spurge" derives from the Middle English/Old French espurge ("to purge"), due to the use of the plants sap as a purgative.

The botanical name Euphorbia derives from Euphorbus, the Greek physician of King Juba II of Numidia (52-50 BC - 23 AD). He is reported to have used a certain plant, possibly "Resin Spurge" (E. resinifera), as a herbal remedy when the king suffered from a swollen belly. Carolus Linnaeus assigned the name Euphorbia to the entire genus in the physician's honor.

Juba II himself was a noted patron of the arts and sciences and sponsored several expeditions and biological research. He also was a notable author, writing several scholarly and popular scientific works such as treatises on natural history and a best-selling traveller's guide to Arabia. Euphorbia regisjubae (King Juba's Euphorbia) was named to honor the king's contributions to natural history and his role in bringing the genus to notice.

Euphorbia griffithii is named in honor of Dr William Griffith (1810 - 1845) a medical doctor with the British East India Company and a dedicated botanist who collected widely in Upper Burma, India and Afghanistan.

Euphorbia griffithii is a native of Bhutan and south-east Tibet where it grows in mixed oak, pine and rhododendron forests. It is an herbaceous perennial with wide ranging, creeping underground rhizomes and annual growths from 50 to 80cm (20 - 30"). Although I consider it a very worthy garden plant, it's sprawling habit leaves a bit to be desired.

The other parent involved in the creation of 'Jessie' is Euphorbia polychroma, a yellow flowering native of Eastern and Central Europe. This species tends to seed around the garden aggressively. The resulting progeny of the marriage of these two diverse species is sterile and sets no seeds.

The vivid yellow color of 'Jessie's' bracts is so intense that it melts onto the top leaves.  Each bract is edged with a brilliant orange rim.  E. 'Jessie' has been granted Plant Patent # 12858 by the US Government Patent Office and is also protected by the COPF,  the Canadian Ornamental Plant Foundation. Asexual propagation is forbidden.

By the way, Euphorbias are among the most deer proof plants in the world and 'Jessie' is no exception. Herds of deer have browsed all around her and NEVER taken a single bite.

In case you're wondering where the name 'Jessie' comes from, it's for my friend Jessica Levine, a local artist / community activist - On a Summer meander through my garden, Jessie, surrounded by all forms of greenery, exclaimed "Hey, Barry, why is that one plant so different than all of the other plants around it?"  And different it was! The curious eye of an artist observed a spontaneous, naturally occurring interspecific cross between two species. Her discovery prompted me to begin experimenting with Euphorbias and to name the plant in her honor.

I'm zone 5 here and we know she's hardy here for the last 7 years. I'd venture a guess that she'll grow well in any state of the US. As far as heat tolerance, my friend Jimmy Turner at the Dallas Arboretum in Dallas TX reported that she didn't blink an eye in 100 degree sun with 100 % RH, now that's one tough plant.

I grow her in full sun and the height is over 6 feet. In shade, you can expect 4 feet to 5 feet. A mature clump can be up to 3 feet in diameter.

Bloom time is the entire month of June here and it's now August and the plants all still look great.

I've been selling Euphorbia 'Jessie' in limited quantities to visitors to the farm and to select Internet customers in 2" treeband ® pots for $17.50 ea plus $9.00 for UPS. Over the last couple of years, we've really put some effort into building a large stock so as to be able to reduce the price and I'm pleased to tell you that I've succeeded. 

The prices shown below include FREE SHIPPING on bareroot plants out of their 2" pots. If you would like to receive the plants undisturbed, in their pots, please add .95¢ per plant to cover the extra cost of shipping soil and pots.

1   for $ 20.00  delivered ($20.00 ea)  
2   for $ 30.00  delivered ($15.00 ea)
4   for $ 50.00  delivered ($12.50 ea)
10  for $ 95.00  delivered ($ 9.50 ea)

Ordering couldn't be easier! Just fill out the order form at //

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Barry Glick, Sunshine Farm and Gardens
696 Glicks Rd, Renick, WV 24966, USA
Phone: (304) 497-2208

Last modified February 24, 2009
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