What are the uses of milkweed plants

Roller Spurge


from 15.00cm to 25.00cm
Growth width
from 40.00cm to 50.00cm
Growth characteristics
  • flat growing
  • cushioning
Leaf shape
  • ovate pointed
  • pointed
  • tongue-shaped
Fruit properties
  • nondescript
  • Self-sowing
Soil moisture
  • dry to moderately dry
PH value
  • alkaline to slightly alkaline
Ornamental or utility value
  • Leaf jewelry
  • picturesque growth
  • Flower beds
  • Green roof
  • Group planting
  • Dry stone walls
  • Discounts
Garden style
  • Roof garden
  • Mediterranean garden
  • Rock garden


The roller milkweed (Euphorbia myrsinites) from the family of the milkweed family (Euphorbiaceae) is one of the best-known species of milkweed in our gardens. Their original range extends from southern Europe to northern Iran. The perennial owes its German name to its cylindrical shoots. As with their relatives, the milk juice it contains can cause unpleasant skin irritation in some people.


The height of the cushion-forming roller milkweed is about 15 to 25 centimeters, while it reaches between 40 and 50 centimeters in width. The shoots of the small, prostrate perennial spread out in a circle from the center to all sides.


The pointed leaves of Euphorbia myrsinites appear blue-green and are densely cylindrical on the stems. They are up to four inches long and two inches wide. While the succulent, evergreen leaves are still in compact spirals on young shoots, they become increasingly drooping with age.


The yellow flowers of the roller milkweed open in May and June. The umbel-shaped inflorescences are arranged terminally and are up to twelve centimeters in size. What one thinks at first glance to be the flower are actually the striking yellow-green bracts that surround the actual, somewhat more inconspicuous flower.


After flowering, the perennial forms spherical capsule fruits.


Roller milkweed thrives best in a place in full sun.


As in their homeland, Euphorbia myrsinites loves dry, chalky soil here too. In addition, the soil should be well drained.


It is advisable to plant the milkweed family after the ice saints in spring. Make sure that the planting distance is as large as possible of around 45 centimeters and water the perennial well after planting.


After the flowering period in summer, the faded shoots of the roller milkweed should be thinned out. So the new shoots also have enough space to develop. It is essential to wear gloves to avoid skin irritation.


The roller milkweed can be divided towards the end of winter. The following also applies here: it is better to wear gloves to protect against the toxic milky juice.

Roller milkweed is particularly suitable for dry stone structures and sunny gravel beds. Ornamental onion, sedum plant and bearded iris are ideal neighbors. Euphorbia myrsinites is also used for roof gardens and wall crowns. The small perennial also cuts a fine figure in hanging baskets and pots on the balcony or terrace.


The roller milkweed can be multiplied by sowing, dividing and cuttings. The best time to propagate cuttings is in late spring. Euphorbia myrsinites also likes to sow itself at suitable locations.

Diseases and pests

The roller milkweed is relatively robust against diseases and pests. Powdery mildew, thrips or aphids can occur under certain circumstances.