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Donkey-Tail Spurge

Euphorbia myrsinites

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Donkey-Tail Spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Euphorbia myrsinites foliage

Euphorbia myrsinites foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Donkey-Tail Spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Euphorbia myrsinites

Euphorbia myrsinites

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3b

Other Names:  Myrtle Spurge

Ornamental Features

Donkey-Tail Spurge's attractive round leaves remain steel blue in color throughout the year. It has masses of beautiful cymes of chartreuse flowers with buttery yellow bracts at the ends of the stems from early to late spring, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Donkey-Tail Spurge is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading
  • Self-Seeding

Donkey-Tail Spurge is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Donkey-Tail Spurge will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 6 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets.

Donkey-Tail Spurge is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features