BACKGROUND: Native to Eurasia, myrtle spurge is a weed of gardens, dry natural hillsides, waste areas, and public lands. It is drought tolerant and thrives in nutrient poor, sandy, and rocky soils. The plant contains a milky sap toxic to cattle and humans. Myrtle spurge is sold as an ornamental.
DESCRIPTION: A short-lived, clumping herbaceous perennial with 8-inch tall, fleshy stems that bear thick, waxy, grayish-blue leaves. Stem tips bear yellow-green bracts that cup tiny flowers in umbrella-like clusters. Seeds are ejected up to 15 feet when the seed capsules open. The plants can also regenerate from root fragments.
CONTROL: Do not buy or grow this plant. Seedlings are easily dug or hand-pulled (use gloves, eye and skin protection). but when digging more mature plants, the entire root must be removed. Herbicides can be effective.