Euphorbia myrsinites

When I first saw this plant I thought it was a sedum, for the leaves are much fleshier than those of the other euphorbias I know, admittedly only a tiny fraction of this huge genus of some two thousand plants. It is a strange but effective little evergreen plant no more than 6 inches (15 cm) high, but with trailing stems a foot (30 cm) long growing all round the plant from the centre, packed with blue-grey fleshy leaves. The flowers at the tips of the stalks consist of sulphur-yellow bracts, and appear in spring.

This euphorbia needs well-drained soil, and looks best planted in groups of five plants or more placed 16 inches (40 cm) apart, to make a pool of glaucous colour in a sunny corner; or they can be planted on top of a low wall, or against the south wall of a building. In this case, a low. Flat climber on the wall behind would make an interesting background, such as a scarlet Chaenomeies speciosa, formerly known as ‘japonica’.

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