Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Euphorbia heterophylla (Mexican fireplant)
Stone, Robert L.

Euphorbia heterophylla

Euphorbia heterophylla L.

Mexican Fireplant, Wild Poinsettia

Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)

Synonym(s): Euphorbia geniculata, Euphorbia prunifolia, Poinsettia geniculata, Poinsettia heterophylla

USDA Symbol: EUHE4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I), PR (N), VI (N)

Minute flowers lacking petals within a 5-lobed, gland-rimmed cup, all in a cluster atop each leafy stem just above partly red, white, or yellow leaves; sap milky.

This species, though a weedy annual, recalls its relative, the Christmas Poinsettia (E. pulcherrima), which ranges from central Mexico south to Panama and has large, red, pink, yellow, or white leaves just below the flowering cluster. Toothed Spurge (E. dentata), which occurs from Illinois east to Pennsylvania and southward, has hairier stems, opposite leaves, and leafy bracts usually green or white at the base.


From the Image Gallery

7 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AL , AZ , CA , FL , GA , HI , LA , MS , NM , TX
Native Distribution: Southern tier of states in the U.S., from California east to Florida and Georgia.
Native Habitat: Open or wooded, disturbed areas, usually in sandy soil.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-04-03
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back