Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Failproof Groundcover

If you could invent a plant, wouldn't you want it to have these characteristics?

  • Drought tolerant
  • Quick to establish
  • Easy to propagate
  • Pest-proof
  • Stands up to foot traffic
  • No special care required

Euphorbia humistrata fits the bill.  It's an annual, but it might as well be a perennial because in effect, it acts like one.  Once you have it, there's no need to replant it year to year. It looks beautiful draping over a retaining wall edge.  A nearly identical plant (Euphorbia maculata) has unique burgundy markings on its foliage.  Both grow quickly, so what more could you want in a groundcover?

Prostrate spurge
Euphorbia humistrata

What?  You're turning up your nose at this?

I think it's time we stop trying to beat this thing and join it.  It's the latest, greatest plant you never knew you wanted.  If you already have it, don't you agree that it's the easiest thing to grow since...say...dandelions? 

I've got a good crop of it going here and I'm willing to sell you some seedlings at the bargain basement price of 50 cents per plant.  How many do you want?


Erin @ The Impatient Gardener said...

You had me worried there for a second, Kylee.

Daricia said...

But can you eat it? That's how I'm judging the worthiness of letting a weed be these days. If I can find a reasonable use for it, it can stay. Unless you want groundcover everywhere to be spurge, it better be good for harvesting. Medicine, maybe?

Anonymous said...

That sure looks like purslane to me! It is a wonderful tasty green and a superfood, too. It's the only "weed" I allow in my garden, and it chokes out the others. Plus, other crops' roots actually follow the purslane to obtain special nutrients. Check it out!

Kylee Baumle said...

Erin ~ You know me better than that. ;-)

Daricia ~ Well, you know this was tongue-in-cheek. LOL. Not sure if it's good for anything except covering the ground and driving me insane...

Carol ~ No, it's not purslane. We have purslane in our gardens too, but not nearly as much as this spurge. Purslane is a succulent type of plant that is edible and this is not. In fact, it would be dangerous to eat this, as euphorbias have a latex substance that is very irritating to many people's skin. I wouldn't even recommend pulling this without gloves.

Rose said...

Ha, I've been looking for a good groundcover, and you had me going there, Kylee, until I saw the photo. I didn't know its botanical name, but I sure know it by sight. If you get any customers, let me know--I can supply you with more if you run short:)

Anonymous said...

I am willing to sell ours at ten cents each! 20=free

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