Hardiness: USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Danger: All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Red-Orange Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall Blooms repeatedly
Foliage: Grown for foliage
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
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: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From herbaceous stem cuttings From seed; sow indoors before last frost
Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
On Aug 26, 2010, ambersunny from Asheville, NC wrote:
I have just discovered this plant in a clients garden in Asheville, NC. I have been designing & working in gardens for 10+ years here, and have never seen this plant. From research it seems as if Heterophylla and Cyathophora are very close. I am thinking the Heterophylla has the wider leaves which is what I have. ??? And the Cyathophora has the spiny leaves?? It seems to have been reseeding its self but not too dramatically.
On Jul 1, 2007, Len123 from Adrian, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
very invasive. more of a weed than a flower. no flowers, not showy. I've read in south america gets in soybeans and glycophosphate based herbicides doesn't kill it. I have pulled diligently and keeps springing up.
On Mar 31, 2004, diablo2003 from Mission, TX (Zone 10b) wrote:
For the Southern most tip of Texas, where temperature gets up to 104F, this medium growth shrub with its unique shape and color is a pleasant weed. Alike most weeds, no care needed, watering not an issue and arrived on its own one day. Since I discovered it, I have been regularly caring for it as I do for my other plants and it LOVES it!!! Getting taller and fuller. Stately appearance. If one were to pot it and sell it at the nursery, it could be passed off as some exotic shrub!
On May 18, 2003, Nurafey from Polk City, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
I have seen this plant in central Florida, and thought it was related to the traditional Poinsettia, but it was growing like a weed. I have seen it a few times since, but always in weedy type situations, growing happily by itself. In addition to it being poisonous to people and dogs, it is also toxic to cats.
Be very careful with this plant, especially if you have dogs or children that may possibly eat it. The Mexican fire plant if ingested can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, shock and even death. The milky sap that the plant contains and that oozes out when a stem is broken can also irritate the skin. It is a lovely plant, and thrives in the Galapagos Islands and other areas of South America as well as south-eastern North American states. It is often mistaken that the red/green bracts are its flower petals, but the flowers are actually the small green cups that only have either stamens or pistils, no other reproductive whorls.
On Sep 24, 2002, cjs41 from Dacula, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
One of these plants appeared in my brother's garden and I really thought it was beautiful. But did not think it was in the poinsettia family. An older lady told us that it was practically a weed here in Georgia and invasive. But have lived here all my life and never noticed it before this summer. So it can't be that "weedy." I tried to root a cutting in soil and it rotted but was able to root readily a cutting in water.
On Aug 31, 2002, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:
Easy to grow plant, and the flowers are inconspicuous enough to fill in between other plants.
But - be aware of the force with which its seeds burst forth (meaning you'll find seedlings EVERYWHERE.)
Seeds should be collected when the husks take on a dry, pale green appearance. You can experiment by opening up one and seeing if the seeds are dark brown/black - if so, they're ripe and ready to pick. If they are still white and oozing sap, they're not ready.
Place the seed pods (each normally contains two or three seeds) in a jar or deep bowl with a lid. As they dry, the husks will come loose with a "POP", and without a lid, you'll find seeds all over the place :)
I haven't had much experience with this plant, as just this year I transplanted some from my mother's garden (Texas, zone 7) to mine (Georgia, zone 8). It appears to be thriving and Mom said that it will reseed itself gladly.
I just wanted to add that my grandmother called this plant a "hypocrite bush" because it resembled a poinsettia but wasn't really one. I finally tracked down its real name, and, lo and behold, it actually IS a close relative of the poinsettia. Not too much of a hypocrite after all.
I don't know how many others may have used that term. Of course, my grandmother also referred to purple heart as purple coleus and called moss rose (portulaca) just "moss".
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (2 reports) Grenoble, Madison, Alabama Vincent, Alabama Fresno, California Palm Springs, California San Diego, California Bartow, Florida Beacon Square, Florida Black Diamond, Florida Cutler Ridge, Florida Fort Lauderdale, Florida Lakeland, Florida Merritt Island, Florida New Port Richey, Florida Oldsmar, Florida Pembroke Pines, Florida Saint Petersburg, Florida Warrington, Florida Barbourville, Kentucky Cloverly, Maryland Maben, Mississippi Adrian, Missouri Saint Robert, Missouri Strafford, Missouri Utica, New York Asheville, North Carolina Elizabeth City, North Carolina Norwood, North Carolina Wilson, North Carolina Ashville, Ohio Delaware, Oklahoma Fair Play, South Carolina Centertown, Tennessee Hendersonville, Tennessee Bulverde, Texas Crp Christi, Texas Dallas, Texas Denison, Texas Fort Worth, Texas Heidelberg, Texas Houston, Texas Knollwood, Texas Kurten, Texas La Vernia, Texas Mont Belvieu, Texas New Braunfels, Texas San Antonio, Texas