Well..... I did some research about that mystery succulent plant in my garden and here is what I found out:
* Euphorbia myrsinites * Perfect for sunny rock gardens, banks, or along a driveway, commonly referred to as Donkey tail Spurge or Myrtle Spurge, (Zones 5 to 8). * Has long trailing stems covered with blue-green leaves that look like miniature eucalyptus branches. * Bright yellow flowers bloom at the tips of the stems as early as February. * The plant is only about six inches tall but spreads a foot or more in width. *(A note of caution, however: Euphorbia myrsinites is listed by the USDA as a noxious weed in the state of Colorado.) * May cause irritation to the skin, avoid contact with the plant's milky sap, as it is poisonous.
As if all of this information wasn't educational enough I stumbled across this enlightening website which gave the following information:
Post-mortem examination of people killed by Euphorbia latex has revealed severe inflammation of the walls of the stomach and intestine and in some cases the wall of the stomach has been perforated. The poison is called euphorbon about which little is known.
There is no doubt about it. Many plants in the family Euphorbiaceae are dangerous if you handle them carelessly. In some cases, just one drop of latex on your skin can cause a rash the severity of which depends on how each individual reacts to it. If the white, milky latex touches a cut or sore or squirts into your eyes, you are courting trouble of major proportions.
The name Euphorbia is considered by many in South Africa as synonymous with poison.
While reading the following story below... I was immediately reminded of my situation:
Every spring when I repotted my plants, I had a very painful mess of tiny, hard bumps on my hands. They were not red and not blisters but so painful it felt like a hundred little razor blades were stuck in my skin. These hurt for a week or more and then disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. Last spring I repotted only my Euphorbias and that's how I became aware they were the source of my problem. Whether one specific plant was responsible I don't know. And I don't plan to experiment further!
This experience prompted me to look for information on reactions to Euphorbia latex. The following awesome stories and other tidbits of information will, I hope, alert everyone to the real dangers of handling these plants without taking proper precautions.
Hopefully you all have learned to not make the mistake I did.