Owning a plant commonly known as Snowflake is a close as we get to the real deal here in Queensland, although, extreme weather conditions can herald actual snowfall in the Southern Downs (or Granite Belt) region.
Where we live on the Sunshine Coast though barely gets cold enough for the occasional frost, but that’s ok when you get to grow your own snowflakes.
Also know as little Christmas flower, white Christmas bush, white lace euphorbia, snow bush, and snows of Kilimanjaro, Euphorbia leucocephala is a relatively low maintenance shrub that puts on an amazing display during autumn and winter.
With winter officially commencing in just over two weeks, I’m excited about this plant and its coming period of extravagance.
This is what it looked like just six days ago.
Those same leaves are now dying and the white bracts beginning to take over.
And yet, from the other side, I’d say they are not far from being in full bloom.
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Snowflake belongs to the same genus as Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) and both plants are similar in many ways. Primarily, they have small, insignificant ‘true flowers’, but it’s the coloured bracts surrounding those flowers that make these plants so eye-catching, showy, and spectacular when the weather begins to cool.
I think I have a thing for these types of euphorbias because I have four different varieties of Poinsettia.
I also have a yellow variety that’s proving difficult to photograph because of where it is in the garden.
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So together with my Snowflake, I have five varieties. But wait . . . there’s more!
I also have a variety called Diamond Frost (Euphorbia hypericifolia) which is sometimes known as Baby’s Breath Euphorbia.
I feel as though this Diamond Frost variety is constantly flowering, and must say it has proven very easy to propagate. I have it in a hanging basket and every time I give it a prune I pop the cuttings into a pot and (usually) forget I’ve done so until I start seeing little white flowers sprinkled amongst my other plants.
For now, it’s the Snowflake that’s about to take centre stage.
And I won’t even need to remind myself to share some photos when it reaches full bloom.