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Euphorbia myrsinites (Myrtle Spurge)

The enormous Euphorbia genus comes from anything that looks like an Oleander to what looks for all the world like a Cactus. This hardy, fleshy ground cover comes somewhere in between. Fleshy leaves, very glaucous (bluey-grey), ground covering but with those familiarly weird Euphorbia flowers like yellow – green Shrek’s ears. See the pictures – they’re impossible to describe.

Like all the Euphorbias, the fleshy sap can be irritating on tender bits of skin so keep your sleeves rolled down when tidying and weeding amongst them. This plant is native to south-east Europe and Asia Minor (Turkey mostly)

They’re generally easy and very satisfying in the right place as there’s nothing else quite like them. They like plenty of sun and pretty good drainage and not great in a pot – they’re too vigorous for that.

Propagated by cuttings.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Green

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Hardy anywhere in Britain below approximately 1000ft (300m)

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.