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Plant Details

Euphorbia cyathophora [= Euphorbia heterophylla; see Notes, below]

Wild Poinsettia, Painted Leaf, Fire-on-the-Mountain, Fiddler's Spurge, Mexican Fireplant

Scientific Name:

Euphorbia cyathophora [= Euphorbia heterophylla; see Notes, below]

Genus:

Euphorbia

Species Epithet:

cyathophora

Common Name:

Wild Poinsettia, Painted Leaf, Fire-on-the-Mountain, Fiddler's Spurge, Mexican Fireplant

Plant Type

Herb/Wildflower

Life Cycle

Annual (Herbs Only)

Plant Family

Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

1-3 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

White, Green

Light:

Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry

Bloom Time:

June, July, August, September, October

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Disturbed habitats, dunes. Uncommon on the NC Coastal Plain; rare in the NC Mountains and Piedmont, where it is probably not native.

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate, Opposite

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Annual (Herbs Only)

Wildlife Value:

Has some wildlife value

Landscape Value:

Not Recommended for home landscapes

Notes:

Wild Poinsettia is also known as Fire-on-the-mountain and has been considered, Euphorbia cyathophora, Euphorbia graminifolia, Euphorbia barbellata, Euphorbia heterophylla, and has sometimes been placed in the genus Poinsettia. Although it has been recorded statewide (including in the mountains), it is more commonly seen in the sandy coastal plain; Weakley (2015) considers it native on the NC Coastal Plain, non-native in the NC Piedmont and Mountains.
The showy parts of the plant are not the flowers, but the red bracteal leaves. The plant can become weedy and sometimes loses the showy color.

Plant in Bloom

The blooms are actually small and are above the colorful bracts.

image

Plant

image

George Walls

Seed pod close up

image

George Walls

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record

https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=EUCY


Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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