Myrtle Spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites)
Myrtle Spurge is a highly invasive ornamental plant that is popular in xeriscapes and rock gardens in residential areas of Colorado. This plant is rapidly expanding into sensitive ecosystems, displacing native vegetation and reducing forage for wildlife.
It is a low-growing perennial with trailing stems of fleshy blue-green alternate leaves. Flowers are inconspicuous, surrounded by yellow-green flower-like bracts that appear from March to May. Myrtle Spurge reproduces only by seed and is capable of projecting seeds up to 15 feet.
This plant exudes toxic, milky latex, which can cause severe skin irritations. Wearing gloves, long sleeves, and shoes is highly recommended when in contact with Myrtle Spurge, as all plant parts are considered poisonous.
Alternatives to planting myrtle spurge include native plants such as Sulphur flower (Erigonum umbellatum) or Kinnikinnick (Artcostaphylos uva-ursi).