Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Snow on the Mountain
Euphorbia marginata

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: marginata (mar-jen-AY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Euphorbia variegata

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

31 members have or want this plant for trade.

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18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Green
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 31 photos.
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11 positives
5 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Nov 3, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A self-sowing annual that's dramatic in the garden and beautiful in the vase as a cut "flower" (sear the ends of the stems with a flame, or hold them in boiling water for 30 seconds).

The flowers are inconspicuous---it's the white or white-margined bracts and leaves that put on the show.

Pinching or cutting back early produces shorter, denser plants.

Seeds are best sown where they're to grow. Seedlings are taprooted and don't do well after transplanting. Seeds can be fall planted even in Alaska.

Seeds are projected several feet when the dry seed capsules burst explosively. I don't find the seed easy to collect unless the capsules are bagged when still green. I've also collected green seed capsules and dried them indoors (covered to catch the seeds).

Some people get a nasty rash on contact with the milky white sap (latex). Keep the sap out of your eyes!

Native to the Great Plains from Texas and New Mexico to Montana. Locally naturalized throughout the east.

Positive DavidLMo On Aug 2, 2014, DavidLMo from St Joseph, MO wrote:

Cute as all get out. Always garners comments or questions - what is that.

Positive CharminSharmin On Sep 20, 2012, CharminSharmin from Spokane, WA wrote:

This grows in Spokane, Wa, the Eastern part of the state where we have hot though dry summers 80s-90s, sometimes 100 degrees, wet springs, crisp falls and snowy winters, with degrees as low as the teens. I'm growing it in mostly shade with a little morning sun reflected (from a window) where nothing else except a very few weeds will grow.

Positive rebecca101 On Jan 9, 2009, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

A stellar garden plant - gorgeous foliage, beautiful habit - a great companion for other plants! Easy to grow from seed.

Neutral NatureWalker On Feb 23, 2008, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Warning: If you are allergic to Latex DO NOT handle any of these plants of the Euphorbia Family without using Protective Gloves & Goggles. The sap can cause moderate to severe burns, just by touching your skin. Worse if it gets in your eyes. This plant Family is related too the group of plants they use to extract Latex from.

Positive HandyCathy On Aug 31, 2007, HandyCathy from Melbourne, FL wrote:

I have two Snow on the Mountain planted together to hide my a/c after my fence blew down during the 2004 hurricanes. My first experience with these plants and have been very please and happy with them and love the way they look. Last night, I found them infested with the little catepillars others are mentioning. They are about 5' tall and the whole tops are chewed up. Not having anything quick to spray them, I ran out to local Home Depot. Checking out at the garden register, I mentioned the issue, and she said that they had just received a shipment in that was totally infested. I sent home and sprayed best I could, as it was dark now, but when I inspected them again this morning before going to work, still loaded with catepillars and more chewed up. So I sprayed again, but I'm just going to prune these back and see how they grow back.

Positive renatelynne On Sep 20, 2006, renatelynne from Boerne new zone 30, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love the look of the plant. Even though the notes say this plant likes sun to partial shade all of mine are in FULL shade and doing well. And even though they are xeric they will also grow in standing water. The ones in standing water have a lot more stem than leaves v/s the ones I have in dirt.

Neutral Gabrielle On Jan 25, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

The foliage is nice, but it loves to seed itself everywhere. It tends to get tall and flop. The best looking one I've had was one that got hit by a lawn mower when it was young; it grew back short and bushy.

Other names include: Ghost Weed, Kilimanjaro, Snow Top, and Summer Icicle.

Blooms August-September in my garden.

Positive Esther2001 On Feb 18, 2005, Esther2001 from Olathe, KS wrote:

I have only recently became aware of this plant. It grows around the lake banks....I'm thinking very seriously of putting some of it in my flower garden this summer.

Negative phantomvi On Oct 8, 2004, phantomvi from San Antonio, TX wrote:

Although hardy and beautiful, beware the poison. I used this flower to decorate for a wedding and woke the next morning looking like something from a horror movie. I have never had such a serious reaction to a plant. The tissue around my eyes was swollen like golf balls. I have only just recovered. The skin is now wrinkled, scaly and red so that I look fifteen years older! Be careful!

Neutral jeffjm107 On Jun 18, 2004, jeffjm107 from Boca Raton, FL wrote:

great plant for borders have had it for a number of years this year though plant has been infested with catepillars taking the foliage down very fast

Positive cem4 On Apr 29, 2004, cem4 from Hialeah, FL wrote:

Being an avid butterfly gardener, I would recommend this plant to attract beautiful blue, red and white butterflies (very patriotic). The caterpillars will appear first and the plant may suffer slightly, but it recovers quickly and very well. The caterpillars are very interesting to look at and move about in an inch-worm like manner. It does well in the South Florida area, spreading nicely but not overpowering the area it is planted in. I recommend the plant be placed in front of a fence and plant other attractive plants in front of it. This way, when the caterpillars appear and eat the leaves (which they will) you may still have an attractive area. Some gardeners are tempted to spray and kill the caterpillars for the sake of the plant; I feel strongly against this. If you are patient, you will be rewarded with lots of beautiful butterflies in your garden.

Negative diray59 On Mar 18, 2003, diray59 wrote:

Last week while using this plant in a cut flower arrangement I got the milky sap on my hands. Shortly after that I touched my eye which resulted in a severe burning reaction. I went to the pharmacy looking for eye drops to stop the burning. After using those for a couple hours with no success I went back to the pharmacy.The pharmacist suggested I try another type of eye drop. Hours later I went to a different pharmacy this pharmacist called poison control. They suggested I go to the E.R. and have it flushed. I recieved some disturbing information that stated " The white milky substance has been used for branding cattle rather than using a hot iron". After four long hours of flushing and a week of using an antibiotic cream in the eye I am fine. Beware if you get this substance on your skin or in the eye. Severe reaction can occur.

Positive Wingnut On Aug 29, 2002, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Wonderfully different plant! I love the grey-blue foliage and white bracts around the blooms. Mine grow over three feet tall in my Central Texas garden. They are natives here that I imported from the pasture to the garden. Very heat and drought tolerant, though do much better when given regular water.

Positive bigjohn On Aug 22, 2002, bigjohn wrote:

I brought the seeds for this plant over from Germany from my mothers garden for it's striking foilage and white flowers. It needs very little attention as far as watering, soil etc. I do not collect the seeds I just let them fall to the ground in the fall. The plant can be somewhat of a pest as it throws the seeds far into the garden as the seedpods "pop" open. One negative aspect is it's milky sap which can cause a rash. I use this plant for cut flowers, but sear the ends mediately with a flame or dip them into boiling water.

Positive dawnydoo On May 13, 2002, dawnydoo wrote:

I have found this plant to be both rewarding and pesty. It's color, size and shape add beauty to my flower garden. With it's color, it truly brightens up the other flowers, and makes my garden stand apart from the rest. You don't need to collect seeds unless you want them in a specific area of your garden. In the fall, as the seed pods ripen you can hear the pods "pop" open. I It also, however, can be somewhat of a pest. The plant throws many seeds far & wide, and can become profuse in the garden. But, with early recognition (they are very distinct) you can keep this plant where you want it. I will continue to use this plant in my garden.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 30, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

. Grown for its striking foliage and mostly white flower bracts. Used to cover dry banks and other difficult areas, mixed bed, borders or the cutting bed. This hardy plant may also be used as a groundcover and will block out weeds with its vigorous growth. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions from rich to poor, moist to dry, baking sun or light shade. May be used as a cut flower if the cut ends are seared immediately with flame. Milky sap can cause a rash, so avoid getting it on your skin or in your eyes.

Positive Terry On Mar 16, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A bushy annual grown for foliage, the oval leaves are margined in white; uppermost are almost all white. I'm using it in a cutting bed to contrast with bright-colored annuals such as zinnias and salvias.

Before using in cut arrangements, dip stems in boiling water or hold in flame for a few seconds.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Rainsville, Alabama
Wasilla, Alaska
Anderson, California
Boulder Creek, California
Long Beach, California
Riverside, California
Woodland Park, Colorado
Enfield, Connecticut
Bartow, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Honomu, Hawaii
Irwin, Idaho
Lincoln, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Anderson, Indiana
Solsberry, Indiana
Derby, Kansas
Olathe, Kansas
New Orleans, Louisiana
Upton, Massachusetts
Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Flint, Michigan
Lincoln Park, Michigan
Isle, Minnesota
Cole Camp, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Shepherd, Montana
Reno, Nevada
Roswell, New Mexico
Bolton Landing, New York
Johnson City, New York
Rochester, New York
Sugar Grove, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
North Augusta, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Andrews, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Dripping Springs, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Hondo, Texas
Houston, Texas
Kerrville, Texas
Longview, Texas
Mullin, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Santa Fe, Texas
Spicewood, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Wharton, Texas
Purcellville, Virginia
Spokane, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin

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