Myrtle Spurge

Myrtle Spurge

Fact Sheet

ALERT SPP This Plant is on high alert.


Latin Name: Euphorbia myrsinites

Origin:  Europe

Physical Description: It is a perennial forb that has trailing fleshy stems that form low, spreading mounds on the ground. It has fleshy blue-green alternate leaves that spiral around the stem. The flowers are conspicuous, surrounded by large yellow-green heart shaped bracts. The stems, leaves, and roots all contain a milky white sap that is toxic to both humans and animals.

Habitat: It is a drought tolerant plant that does well in full sun and well drained soils. It is commonly found in open areas such as gardens, fields, waste places, roadsides, natural areas, and rocky slopes. It is a popular ornamental plant used for rock gardens.

Impacts: It has aggressive reproductive capabilities and the ability to release chemicals from its roots that prevent other plants from growing. This enables it to quickly outcompete desirable and/or native plants. All parts of the plant contain a white, milky sap that can cause irritation, blotching, blisters, and swelling in sensitive individuals.

Reproduction:  It reproduces primarily by seed. Seeds can disperse up to 5m from the parent plant and remain viable in the soil for up to 8 years. It also reproduces vegetatively through root fragments.

Management Options

Mechanical: Hand pulling and digging small infestations can be effective for small patches as long as care is taken to remove the entire root system. All plant parts should be bagged and disposed of with household garbage. Gloves and long sleeves are recommended when handling this plant to avoid contact with the toxic sap.

Chemical: Several herbicides with the following active ingredients can control Myrtle spurge: picloram, 2, 4-D, dicamba, and glyphosate. For available products, contact your local agri-supply store. Prior to any herbicide application, read and follow the label instructions

Biological: None available

Scroll to Top