This plant has many names. It can be known commonly by Gopher plant, Milkweed, Gopher Spurge, Spurge, or Upright Myrtle Spurge. Incase that isn’t thorough enough, it has two scientific names as well: Euphorbia Rigida and Euphorbia Biglandulosa.
I recently had a client order 100 Euphorbia Rigida plant from me. I had to do some solid searching to be able to find them in Southern California. The color and growth habit of these intrigued me so I decided to do a bit more research on them. After learning that they self seed freely, are very drought tolerant, flower profusely, deter rodents, handle almost any soil, attract bees, and are being researched as a form of biofuel, I was floored that they aren’t being used more.
This is a perfect plant for xeriscaping and for rock gardens that are commonly used here in the High Desert. Where junipers would normally be placed, gopher spurge could be a perfect substitute. The advantage is that gopher spurge has very few pests and diseases that affect it, as opposed to junipers that will eventually be wiped out from one of the many problems they commonly face.
Xeriscaping and drought tolerant plants are becoming more popular for varying reasons. This plant fits in a category that few other plants do, the “What can I plant that I don’t have to water and keeps the weeds away and looks nice?” category. I have come to the conclusion that people only don’t have it because they don’t know about it.
This plant has a fast growth rate. The following plant was grown from a cutting in just 2 years. It fits perfectly in USDA zones 7-10 and has no problems with the wild fluctuations that the High Desert typically deals with.
If you’re looking for a drought tolerant plant that thrives in the High Desert and fits perfectly into your xeriscaping project, look no further.