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Secret Garden

Snow in the Mountain 

​​Snow in the Mountain 

Euphorbia marginata

  • Common name: Snow on the mountain, Smoke on the prairie, variegated spurge, whitemargined spurge
  • Scientific name: Euphorbia marginata
  • Family name: Euphorbiaceae
  • Origin: US Central plains
  • Height: 1-2 ft
  • Width: 1-2 ft
  • Growth: Fast
  • Zone: 2-11
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • Salt tolerance: Moderate
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Can live in various soil types as long as it is well-drained and moist, prefers soil with a somewhat neutral pH (pH 6.8-7.2)
  • Moisture: Average water needs, water regularly until established
  • Drought tolerance: High
  • Pests/Diseases: Root rot if overwatered, spider mites and mealybugs; the Snowbush Spanworm caterpillar may eat its leaves
  • Growing conditions: Best grown in a partly shady are with well-drained, moist soil. Since it is a small plant, it can be grown near other plants. It grows quickly and tends to be weedy, so it may need to be cut back occasionally to avoid it overwhelming other plants
  • Characteristics: Leaves are light green and variegated white and grow alternately. Leaves are oblong and pointed. Flowers are small and yellow in the center with five white petals, and grow in clusters on the tops of stems. When damaged, the plant excretes a white, milky sap. The plant is poisonous and should not be ingested; the sap may cause dermatitis.
  • Wildlife: Flowers attract pollinators; birds may eat the seeds.
  • Propagation: By cuttings and by seed
  • Facts: This plant can be a host plant for the Snowbush Spanworm, the larval stage of the white-tipped black moth (Melanchroia chephise). Snow on the Mountain was collected in Montana by William Clark during the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • Designer considerations: Makes a good focal point for beds and borders. Its weediness, fast growth rate, and showy leaves and flowers make it a great choice for wildflower meadows. Its drought tolerance makes it a good choice for dry areas.