My mystery plant

by Eva
(Wasaga Beach, Ontario Canada)


I got this plant from a neighbour. In the picture it is upright but it actually grows along the ground and in the spring it has lime green flower-like new growth.

Hi Eva, just watch this one like a hawk - it's considered an invasive species in some areas, due to it's ability to reseed everywhere. That wouldn't be so bad, but the sap is caustic, and can cause bad contact dermatitis, and for an added bonus, is also toxic to livestock.

The common name is Donkey Tail Spurge, or it's sometimes known botanically as Euphorbia myrsinites. You can see more about this genus here.

Your description of the 'flower like green growth' is right on; what appear to be flowers are actually bracts, which are modified leaves. The flowers are tiny, and in the center of that colorful cluster. These plants are related to the Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima which has the exact same feature only in brighter reds and pinks.

Best of luck,
Jacki

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