Photo by JLBG taken at US Botanical Garden, DC
Blue Donkey-tail Spurge
Item #: 4041
Zones: 5a to 8b, at least
Height: 6" tall
Origin: Southern Europe
Every spring during open house, visitors are fascinated by this bizarre evergreen perennial, blue donkey-tail spurge. Looking more like a sedum on Prozac than a member of the poinsettia family, Euphorbia myrsinites will certainly make visitors take notice. The snake-like flat stalks of succulent blue foliage curl outwards to 18" from the central rootstock. In March, the tips of the blue foliage are highlighted with terminal clusters of small yellow flowers. Native to sandy and gravelly mountain slopes, Euphorbia myrsinites is perfect in rock walls or meandering near the front of an open perennial border. Good winter drainage in colder areas is essential.
About the only maintenance we recommend for Euphorbia myrsinites is to cut back the old flower stalks after flowering, and even that isn't required. If your plant ever become looking tired, then cut the entire clump to the ground, and if it isn't fall or winter, it will quickly resprout.
Full sun, and well drained soils are the keys to success with Euphorbia myrsinites. Becuase it's a prostrate grower, it easily weaves in and around taller perennials as long as they aren't dense enough to provide too much shade.
Bees are among many pollinator insects that appreciate the nectar of blue donkey's-tail spurge. One of the few areas, where Euphorbia myrsinites grows too well and has become slightly invasive is the Rocky Mountain regions, so if you're in this area, you should choose another plant.