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Wild Poinsettia

Euphorbia cyathophora

Other common name(s):

Poinsettia, Fire On The Mountain

Family:

Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Chihuahuan Deserts, Edwards Plateau, Texas Blackland Prairies
Chihuahuan Basins and Playas, Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands, Chihuahuan Montane Woodlands, Low Mountains and Bajadas, Stockton Plateau
Balcones Canyonlands, Edwards Plateau Woodland, Llano Uplift, Semiarid Edwards Plateau
Northern Blackland Prairie

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Herbaceous

Height

1
to
3
ft.

Spread

1
to
3
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Annual

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Moist

Light Requirement

Sun

Water Requirement

Medium

Native Habitat

Grassland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Yellow, Green

Bloom Season

Summer, Fall

Seasonal Interest

Nectar, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Bees

Maintenance

Colorful leaves make this a nice ornamental accent plant and filler. Give lots of room to spread. It tends to prefer a rocky/sand component soil, but it can adapt to a more fertile, medium moisture soil. Its natural habitat includes disturbed sites, waste areas, roadsides, creek banks. Propagation: Cuttings, Seed.

Comments

Blooms May-November. Wild Poinsettia is a short-lived annual. Many of its common names come from the red color of the upper leaves. The leaves vary in shape, different shaped leaves can appear on a single plant. The plant produces a milky latex sap when damaged or broken. The milky sap can irritated the skin and is poisonous if ingested. Terminal Flowers are inconspicuous, yellowish green, cup-shaped. Larval Host: Pygarctia spraguel.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym(s): Euphorbia barbellata, Euphorbia graminifolia, Euphorbia havanensis, Euphorbia heterophylla var. barbellata, Euphorbia heterophylla var. cyathophora, Euphorbia heterophylla var. graminifolia, Poinsettia barbellata, Poinsettia cyathophora, Poinsettia cyathophora var. graminifolia, Poinsettia graminifolia, Poinsettia havanensis

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=EUCY. 3) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Euphorbia+cyathophora&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 4) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=10054&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 5) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=28060#null, 6) https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/euphorbia-heterophylla-var-cyathophora/, 7) https://www.prairiemoon.com/euphorbia-cyathophora-fire-on-the-mountain-prairie-moon-nursery.html
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About the Region

New Braunfels, the location of our Fall 2024 Symposium, straddles both the Edwards Plateau Ecoregion and the Blackland Prairie ecoregion. Interstate 35 divides the city of New Braunfels; its path through the city closely parallels the boundary of these two ecoregions, with the Edwards Plateau on the west side and the Blackland Prairies region to the east. The Edwards Plateau area is also called the Hill Country; however, this general term covers a much larger area extending farther north. Spring-fed creeks are found throughout the region; deep limestone canyons, rivers, and lakes (reservoirs) are common. Ashe juniper is perhaps the most common woody species found throughout the region. Additional woody species include various species of oak, with live oak (Quercus fusiformis) being the most common. Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) border waterways. This area is well known for its spring wildflower displays, though they may be viewed in spring, late summer, and fall, as well. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, average annual rainfall in the Edwards Plateau ranges from 15 to 34 inches.

The Blackland Prairie extends from the Red River south to San Antonio, bordered on the west by the Edwards Plateau and the Cross Timbers, and on the east by the Post Oak Savannah. Annual rainfall averages 30 to 40 inches, with higher averages to the east. This region is dominated by prairie species. The most common grass species include little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) in the uplands and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in the riparian areas and drainages. Common herbaceous flowering plants include salvias, penstemons, and silphiums. This area has suffered greatly from overgrazing and agricultural use. Few intact areas remain, though many of the plants can be found along county roadsides throughout the region.

Our four host chapters (New Braunfels, Lindheimer, Guadalupe, and the Hill Country chapters) are located in one or both of the ecoregions above. However, the eastern portion of Guadalupe County also falls within the Post Oak Savanna ecoregion. Annual rainfall averages 35 to 45 inches, with higher averages to the east. A wide variety of hardwood trees are found, including several species of oaks, elms, and in the Bastrop area, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). Grasses and forbs dominate in the open savannas, with most common grass being little bluestem. Ranching, agriculture, and fire suppression have allowed woody species to encroach on the once-open savannas.

Source: Wildflowers of Texas by Michael Eason