Euphorbia: Silver Swan vs. Ascot Rainbow

chueh(7B)June 25, 2013

I bought my 3 Silver Swans a few years ago. I tried propagating them this past early spring by cuttings. Most of them survived until late spring. When I tried the second time this late spring, none of them made it for a week. I guess that it was too hot when I cut them. Anyhow..

I was waiting for the local nurseries to have Silver Swans in stock, but none of them has them yet. I probably won't see them at least until next spring or so, if they ever come back in stock. The nurseries have carried Ascot Rainbow, though. I tried checking online as thoroughly as possible to see the similarities and differences between Silver Swan and Ascot Rainbow. The descriptions and the pictures of them show big difference in colors. Silver Swan is supposed to have silvery-yellow tone variegated with the smoky blue-green foliage, while Ascot Rainbow yellow in tone and turned into orange and pink variegation.

My Silver Swans fit the description and the picture online, yet, yet they look exactly the same as Ascot Rainbow in the nursery. I attempt to buy these Ascot Rainbows to match my other Silver Swans, yet I am not sure if what they are now looking like Silver Swans in one-gallon pots would turn into Ascot Rainbow appearances to have more of yellowish, orange tones. Please advise. Thanks

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gardengal48

What you are discovering online is correct - other than these both being a variegated cultivar of euphorbia, they are nothing alike. 'Silver Swan' is a sliver-white variegated selection of E. characias. It blooms with a pale, greeny-white flower bract and should get to about 30-36" tall.

'Ascot Rainbow' is a variegated xmartinii hybrid. It has a lot more color than 'Silver Swan' - a mostly creamy yellow base with just a touch of green along the leaf midribs. New growth comes in with a reddish tint and in my area, the entire plant colors up brightly (red, pink, orange) during cold weather. The flower bracts are a pale chartreuse yellow on a pretty compact (18-24") plant.

Placed side by side, IMO the two plants look nothing alike. If you were trying to match the Silver Swans, I doubt you would be satisfied with Ascot Rainbow, although I think it is a stunning plant all on its own. Silver Swan presents a very 'cool' appearance that combines great with darker colored foliage and slivery blues. Ascot Rainbow looks best with warmer colors - golds, bronze, toffee tones.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 1:37PM
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chueh(7B)

Thank you gardengal48.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 12:51PM
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