Euphorbia myrsinites

Photo: Tom Getts

Synonyms: Tithymalus myrsinites (L.) Hill

Common names: myrtle spurge, creeping spurge

Euphorbia myrsinites¬†L. (myrtle spurge) is an evergreen perennial that is native to Eurasia and has been widely introduced as an ornamental. Plants typically grow to 4-8″ tall from a woody base. Stems are ascending or trailing. Oval, blue-green, fleshy leaves are arranged in close spirals around stems. Plants bloom in spring; flowers are inconspicuous and greenish, subtended by showy yellow bracts. Myrtle spurge is listed as noxious weed in Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Utah, as well as California. Its leaves contain a latex that is a skin irritant and toxic to animals. This species can spread aggressively and is difficult to control once established.

Cal-IPC Rating: Watch

CDFA Rating: A?


Plant Risk Assessment - An evaluation of the potential for a plant to be invasive in California.

Weed Management Notes

No Weed RIC Management Notes are available for this species. Check for information on other species in the genus on the Weed RIC site.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Euphorbia myrsinites Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • GBIF - Global distribution information.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • The Plant List - Global taxonomic resource and collaborative clearinghouse from Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Missouri Botanic Garden and others.
  • Additional photos

    Euphorbia myrsinites_leaves (with latex), flowers, and fruit_TomGetts
    Euphorbia myrsinites (myrtle spurge) leaves (with latex), flowers, and fruit. Photo: Tom Getts
    Euphorbia myrsinites_growth habit_TomGetts
    Euphorbia myrsinites (myrtle spurge) growth habit. Photo: Tom Getts