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Euphorbia bicolor (Snow on the prairie) | NPIN
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Euphorbia bicolor (Snow on the prairie)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Euphorbia bicolor

Euphorbia bicolor Engelm. & A. Gray

Snow on the prairie, Snow-on-the-prairie

Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: eubi2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This plant grows 1–4 feet tall. Its slender upper leaves, 2–4 inches long, are green, edged with a narrow band of white. The lower leaves are alternate, grow close to the stem, and lack the white edging. They are 1–1 1/4 inches long. The numerous, inconspicuous flowers grow in terminal clusters. They are white, have no petals, and are either staminate (1 stamen) or pistillate (1 pistil). Clusters group together to form larger clusters surrounded by numerous leaflike bracts which are conspicuously white-margined, 1 1/8–2 1/8 inches long and about 1/4 inch wide. When the stem is broken it exudes a white, milky sap that is irritating to the skin of some persons.

Euphorbia bicolor is often confused with a similar species, E. marginata, which has shorter, wider bracts.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Size Notes: 1–4 feet tall.
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct

Distribution

USA: AR , LA , OK , TX

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Description: Hard clay soils of prairies, rangelands, and edges of woods.
Conditions Comments: Although E. bicolor is not commercially available, it would be an excellent plant for large areas with poor soils. It adapts readily to both dry and wet climes. In the wild, E. bicolor can form extensive colonies over many acres, often seeming to blanket the fields with snow hence the origin of its name.

Benefit

Warning: E. bicolor is a member of the Spurge Family which has as one of its characteristics the presence of milky white sap in the stems. The sap contains a toxic chemical euphorbium which can cause inflammation or irritation to the eyes and skin of some people. Many common ornamentals such as the poinsettia are members of this family.
Interesting Foliage: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX

Bibliography

Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Euphorbia bicolor in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Euphorbia bicolor in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Euphorbia bicolor

Metadata

Record Modified: 2010-05-28
Research By: TWC Staff

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