Euphorbia marginata, or Snow-On-The-Mountain, is an erect annual native from Minnesota to Colorado and Texas. The light green leaves are ovate to oblong, 1-3 inches (2.5-7.5 cm) long. With broad variegated margins, the plants are conspicuous in the landscape, usually between 2-4 feet in height with a single stem. The latex is corrosive to the skin and may cause severe burns or dermatitis. As with all members of the Euphorbiaceae, plant parts should be handled with care, especially when sap is showing.
Blooming Time: Plants flower in early fall; the flowers (actually inflorescences and their showy bracts) form small white cups, known as cyathia, at the top and center of the plant. White and green bracts provide the coloring. Snow-On-The-Mountain makes a long lasting cut flower if the cut end is seared or dipped in boiling water.
Culture: Euphorbia marginata need full sun to partial shade, with a well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix of equal parts sand and loam. The plants should be well watered and be allowed to dry before watering again. The plants are native to poor soils and do not need fertilizer or excessive water. Too much water or fertilizer will provide lush growth but at the expense of flowers. When grown in the landscape they are often planted with dahlias, mums and other fall flowering plants. Whether grown in containers or the landscape, they are very showy.
Propagation: Euphorbia marginata are propagated from seed. Seed should be sown where you want the plants to grow.
Euphorbia marginata was featured as Plant of the Week September 10-16, 2004.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.