Euphorbia Species, Mexican Fire Plant, Mexican Poinsettia, Summer Poinsettia, Wild Poinsettia

Euphorbia heterophylla var. cyathophora

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: heterophylla var. cyathophora
Synonym:Euphorbia cyathophora



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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 herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Madison, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Fresno, California

Palm Springs, California

San Diego, California

Bartow, Florida

Fernandina Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Holiday, Florida

Hollywood, Florida(2 reports)

Lakeland, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida

Miami, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Barbourville, Kentucky

Silver Spring, 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

Norman, Oklahoma

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Charleston, South Carolina

Fair Play, South Carolina

Greeneville, Tennessee

Hendersonville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Mc Minnville, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Denison, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Greenville, Texas

Houston, Texas

Kurten, Texas

La Vernia, Texas

Mercedes, Texas

Mont Belvieu, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Sherman, Texas

Temple, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 4, 2016, Mymuse from Knoxville, TN wrote:

Hello. This beauty came up volunteer on the east side of our home. I have made inquiries all summer, to no availe. I am in a group on Facebook who finally help me identify. I've wondered all along if it was in the poinsettia family? I hadn't concidered a summer poinsettia!
Anyway, I just wanted to share with y'all that my home is in the Knoxville, TN area. And this is the area of which I have the new pleasure of this beautiful summer poinsettia.
My experience is rated neutral for the reason that I have no experience with poinsettia's.


On Jul 23, 2014, Tropicalfish12 from Fernandina Beach, FL wrote:

A beautiful plant with a fiery red center. I planted 4 seedlings about 2 years ago and they have grown like weeds ever since.


On Apr 30, 2011, ilovejesus99 from Baytown, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

I absolutely love this plant. It is very showy when mature and the center is red.


On Mar 16, 2011, Adrastia217 from Davie, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

i always find this plant growing by the dania beach here in south's seems weed like & very unique looking


On Oct 24, 2010, Kiyzersoze from Coral Springs, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Pretty much considered a weed here in South Florida. Interesting to know that it is poisonous to dogs and cats.


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 Aug 10, 2009, CherokeeGreg from Fresno, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

It comes up year after year I never knew what it was until today. I thought it was very pertty weed. Its a nice plant and easy to grow.

zone 9


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 Sep 11, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This species is not as common as Euphorbia heterophylla which is also known as "Summer Poinsettia" (as are several varieties of Amaranthus, but those are easily distinguished from the Euphorbias.)


On Sep 10, 2003, thewiggs from Salisbury, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I planted this plants seeds only once, two years ago. Since then it has randomly sprung up in my garden in several different locations. It has grown well in full sun without any help from me.


On Sep 5, 2003, wanda0810 from Ashville, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I started with one plant five years ago and it is every where now.I give it away every year and everyone loves it. By the middle of august here in Ohio its at its best.It is a really pretty plant.


On Aug 11, 2003, Bairie from Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 10a) wrote:

Everyone (meaning all my aunts) had these plants back in the 40's. I have been looking for it for a long time--didn't know the name of it. I used to see them growing wild, too.


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.


On Oct 31, 2002, molly03jmu wrote:

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, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

A good filler plant but can be invasive. I planted it two years ago and still have it going strong in my garden. Easy to pull and get rid of unwanted plants.


On Aug 31, 2002, yardbird from Maben, MS (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is one of my favorite plants. It looks good in the fall when most everything else is well past their prime.


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 :)


On Aug 31, 2002, ds9is1 wrote:

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".