A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Plant of the Week: Euphorbia myrsinites

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.

One of the unique aspects of Wave Hill is that some plants get to pick their own places to live. Not all of them of course—much thought and expertise goes into the design of the plantings here—but some characters, such as this little spurge, Euphorbia myrsinites, spread themselves by seed and are allowed to crop up in odd nooks and crannies.

Euphorbia-in-garden

And what, you might ask, is a spurge? The Oxford Dictionary defines it as an “herbaceous plant or shrub with milky latex and very small typically greenish flowers. Many kinds are cultivated as ornamentals and some are of commercial importance.” That’s quite right―and perfectly defined by Euphorbia myrsinites.

close-up

Find it in and around the Dry Garden, where it grows in the beds, as originally intended, but also in the mortar of the surrounding walls. The yellow blooms have a honeyed, but slightly cheesy, scent.

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