Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Candelilla
Euphorbia antisyphilitica

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: antisyphilitica (an-tee-sif-ih-LY-tih-kuh) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Cactus and Succulents

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

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
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

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


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

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:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From herbaceous stem cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #1 of Euphorbia antisyphilitica by Xenomorf

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By Xenomorf
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There are a total of 20 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive poeciliopsis On Jan 23, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- I recommend candelilla if you have a particularly hot, harsh spot. I have a candelilla plant growing in a medium-size pot against a light gray south facing stucco wall underneath a large window. It gets not only full sun, but lots of reflected light and heat. I do have the pot lined with Styrofoam sheets to try to insulate the soil a bit. But, the pot has no watering system and has gone as long as two months in summer without water. Despite these harsh conditions the candelilla grows nicely. My only other plant that survives in this location is made of metal.

Positive Cereuspete On Sep 6, 2014, Cereuspete from Tucson, AZ wrote:

My first experience with this unassuming plant was in the higher elevations (4000') overlooking Benson, AZ in Southeastern Arizona. It thrived in that climate in full sun in well draining soil.

Now, in my garden in Tucson, AZ with a considerably lower elevation, it seems to do better in a light, dappled shade. It creates a striking clump of blue-grey/green spires, tallest in the middle and tapering to the plant's margins. Looks great beside water features, where it assumes the visual role of the moisture loving horsetails.

Positive XerosOrchid On Sep 4, 2011, XerosOrchid from Scottsdale, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have had this plant for at least four winters and summers now. I can positively say, that this is one of the hardiest euphorbias I have ever owned.

In 2,200 ft altitude, Zone 9b, my plastic-potted Candelilla (as originally bought from the nursery) survived 3 days of 19-25 degrees Fahrenheit next to a Palo Verde tree. Having grown to a very large plant, and having cast its roots through the bottom of the pot, I was unable to bring it into the house; instead I tossed a towel over it and left it where it was. It sustained some die-back from the freeze, and bounced right back to about double-size this summer. As a side note, during the freeze, the soil in the pot was bone dry.

After consulting with the original grower, I yanked the pot from where it had rooted through and moved it to a different, less protected location with greater exposure to our brutal 110+ Fahrenheit heat, and less shade. The Candelilla took that change in stride, too. The pot is about to burst open, and soon I will have to divide and repot the plant.

Positive bisonplants1 On Oct 28, 2009, bisonplants1 from Manson, WA wrote:

Grown in a pot: during the warm months it is outside, moved indoors during the winter months that freeze. Mine has flowered up thru October. Had a killback from frost last year, but has grown twice as much this year as last year. Some of the stems are over 3 foot in length.

Positive gpc On Aug 13, 2009, gpc from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

I have candelilla growing in a cactus garden with full western exposure against a brick wall. It not only grows but flourishes in the blazing Texas heat. It can be kept in check by running a sharp shovel around the clump and removing any offshoots outside that boundary. Individual stems will suffer slight freeze damage but the specimen in general is hardy and prolific. Its a wonderful addition to any cactus garden, rock garden or xeriscape with it's vertical growth habit.

Neutral palmbob On Sep 21, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a plant I see sometimes at non-specialty nurseries, though it usually tends to be expensive. Historically used for a LOT of medical uses (one in particular as the name suggests). Got this plant as a 1 gal, and before I knew it, I had a huge patch of plant that would easily fill a 15gal pot back up... oops. Not sure I would actually label it as invasive, but it grows very well, and if not grown in full sun (or perhaps it would do this anyway), it can get tall and wispy, and start 'draping' itself over surrounding vegetation and objects. Mine is grown in mostly sun, but a wall keeps sun off it some of the winter, and it's really leggy. I am having to surround it with rocks to keep it from falling and spreading... not a horribly attractive plant, either, but a prolific flower producer... though not really the sort of flowers you can cut off and make a bouquet out of...

Though has the typical toxic, irritating saps of all Euphorbias, this seems less irritating than most. Historically it has been used to treat syphillis (hence the name).


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

Benson, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Scottsdale, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Mission Viejo, California
Reseda, California
Yorba Linda, California
Roswell, New Mexico
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Fort Worth, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Weatherford, Texas
Manson, Washington (2 reports)

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