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Euphorbia marginata (Snow on the mountain)
Hampton, Nan

Euphorbia marginata

Euphorbia marginata Pursh

Snow On The Mountain, Snow-on-the-mountain

Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)

Synonym(s): Agaloma marginata, Dichrophyllum marginatum, Lepadena marginata

USDA Symbol: EUMA8

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (I)

Grown as much for its foliage as for its flowers, snow-on-the-mountainís small but showy leaves may be light green, variegated or entirely white. They clasp erect, many-branched stems which usually grow 1-3 ft. tall. Tiny flowers, each with whitish, petal-like bracts, are borne in clusters atop the stems.

Milky sap may cause dermatitis.


From the Image Gallery

39 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall, often shorter.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , WI , WV , WY
Native Distribution: MT to NM, e. to s. MN, w. IA, w. MO & TX; naturalized in waste areas e. to the Atlantic
Native Habitat: Dry slopes; disturbed prairies; roadsides

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Various soils. Clay, Limestone/chalky, Clay Loam, Medium Loam, Sandy Loam, Sandy


Use Ornamental: Wildflower meadow.
Use Wildlife: This plant has no forage value for mammalian wildlife and is usually considered poisonous. Mourning doves eat the seeds without being harmed. It is an important late summer nectar source for bees and butterflies.
Warning: Plant parts (fresh or dried) and extracts made from them can be toxic if ingested to both humans and cattle. Ingestion causes inflammtion or blistering of the mouth, throat, and esophagus. Contact with plant can cause irritation of skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.

Honey produced by bees that have collected nectar and pollen from this species can irritate or burn the throats of consumers of it. Beekeepers call it "jalapeŮo honey". (Reslit: 3174).
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High
Poisonous: yes


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Sow seed in fall or spring.
Commercially Avail: yes

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:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Patsy Glenn Refuge, c/o Wimberley Birding Society - Wimberley, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0263 Collected Aug. 18, 1992 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
NPSOT 0254 Collected July 27, 1992 in Kendall County by Kristina Coates
NPSOT 0134 Collected Sept. 17, 1991 in Bexar County by Lottie Millsaps

3 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium


Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 765 - McMillen's Texas Gardening: Wildflowers (1998) Howard, D.
Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

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

Research Literature

Reslit 3174 - THE BUDS AND THE BEES Flowers That Leave a Bad Taste in Your Mouth (2015) Bender, Becky

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-10
Research By: NPC

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