Snow Flake (Euphorbia leucocephala) in the Euphorbias Database

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 10a -1.1 °C (30 °F) to +1.7 °C (35 °F)
Plant Height: 8 feet to 12 feet, should be pruned for shape in late spring after flowering
Plant Spread: 4 feet to 6 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruiting Time: Late winter or early spring
Flowers: Fragrant
Other: In the genus Euphorbia, the flowers are reduced in size and aggregated into a cluster of flowers called a cyathium (plural cyathia). This feature is present in every species of the genus Euphorbia but nowhere else in the plant kingdom.
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late fall or early winter
Uses: Provides winter interest
Flowering Tree
Dynamic Accumulator: B (Boron)
Wildlife Attractant: Butterflies
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Toxicity: Other: All members of the genus Euphorbia produce a milky sap called latex that is toxic and can range from a mild irritant to very poisonous.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


Photo gallery:
Location: Longwood Gardens Conservatory, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania USADate: 2017-11-24
By csandt
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Location: Miami, FLDate: 2014-01Fairchild gardens
By skylark
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Location: TongaPhoto courtesy of:  Tauʻolunga
By admin
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Location: Longwood Gardens Conservatory, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania USADate: 2017-11-24
By csandt
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Posted by skylark (JC/NYC - Zone 7b) on Sep 18, 2014 3:48 PM

This small tree/shrub is a relative of the familiar Christmas poinsettia. It sets flowers when days get shorter in late fall. It can be pruned by 1/3 after flowering is over, in spring, but it dislikes being sheared. Best to prune selectively over a period of time, as it bleeds sap profusely.
It is an evergreen, but it might lose most of its leaves by spring if kept too dry over winter.
It should not be pruned after late August because it will be getting ready to start setting flowers then. It is very fragrant and holds its blooms for several months. Care should be taken to give it some supplemental water during flowering as it can lose flowers if kept too dry. Otherwise, it's quite drought tolerant.
The branches are brittle, so it should not be planted where it is exposed to high wind.
It is widespread in Mexico and Jamaica.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
A plant I have never seen before with white flowers by Southamerica Sep 1, 2019 3:16 PM 4
Banner for August 10, 2017 by Dutchlady1 by Dutchlady1 Aug 10, 2017 6:38 PM 9

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