Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spotted Spurge

Every source I've found lists spotted spurge as a weed. Has nobody found a use in the garden for this lovely stuff?

Euphorbia maculata is native. It grows when the heat is hellish, needs no water, and forms lovely, ground-hugging mats. It is easy to kill if necessary: just pull, and it parts easily from its roots and won't (as far as I can tell) regrow. It is an annual, and does keep popping up from seed, especially between sidewalk bricks and in between hellstrip mulch and the curb. . . but hey, free groundcover! I'm letting it go in parts of my garden to see how it turns out.

Up close.

Seriously close. Each flower is about one millimeter wide.

Here is spotted spurge at Franklin Matters.


Sara said...

It is a pretty ground cover. I thought "spotted spurge" was more upright. No worries, I have always called it "donkey grass", I don't know where that came from, but our horse would eat it.

Maria Pellum, Plainfield Resident said...

Thanks for this post, as a non-native gardener I am always amazed to learn what is native to my area (I live on the East Coast, NJ). I just recently cleaned tons of this plant thinking it was weed, I left a bit for it was the only good looking plant around the area that I cleaned, now I know better, and given the fact that the area is an area that has no other water but rain, this will be ideal, and native. Thanks!

Bluestem said...

You are very brave for intentionally growing spurge. I remove it from my garden as soon as I see a seedling pop up.

Michelle said...

Hi Sara, thanks for visiting1 Hi Maria! No promises on how this plant will turn out for you. As Bluestem so nicely illustrates, many people hate it! Bluestem, hahahahhaa!

Bethany said...

I am on the same wavelength as you. I have it and think it is so pretty! How did this turn out for you? I'm hoping it chokes out several of my not as pretty weeds.