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          Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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          Euphorbia antisyphilitica (Candelilla)
          Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

          Euphorbia antisyphilitica

          Euphorbia antisyphilitica Zucc.

          Candelilla, Wax Plant

          Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)


          USDA Symbol: euan3

          USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

          Candelilla is a tufted perennial usually growing 1-1 1/2 ft. tall but occasionally reaching 3 ft. The numerous, rarely branched, waxy stems resemble a cluster of slender, pale-green candles. Tiny, narrow leaves, present only on new growth, fall off early and, along with the flowers, are inconspicuous. The small white flowers, deep pink at the base, 1/16-1/8 inch across, grow near the tips of the stems. This plant is in the same genus as the holiday favorite Poinsettia.


          From the Image Gallery

          21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

          Plant Characteristics

          Duration: Perennial
          Habit: Subshrub
          Leaf Retention: Evergreen
          Size Notes: 1-1 1/2 feet.
          Size Class: 1-3 ft.

          Bloom Information

          Bloom Color: White , Pink
          Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


          USA: NM , TX
          Native Distribution: Trans-Pecos, TX, s. to Mex.
          Native Habitat: High elevation, Hillsides, Slopes

          Growing Conditions

          Water Use: Low
          Light Requirement: Sun
          Soil Moisture: Dry
          Cold Tolerant: yes
          Heat Tolerant: yes
          Soil Description: Well-drained, limesone soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone-based, Caliche type.
          Conditions Comments: This is an effective accent plant because of pale color and columnar shape. Often associated with sotol and lechuquilla in its natural habitat. Makes a good focal point in a small garden or a nice potted specimen. May be toxic; use with caution around children and animals.


          Use Ornamental: Grows in clumps, Attractive, Accent tree or shrub, Desert landscape, Rock gardens, Patio pot plant
          Use Wildlife: Nectar-insects
          Use Medicinal: The species name, antisyphilitica, was given because of its purported use in treating venereal disease.
          Use Other: Candelilla has been important economically for half a century in the Big Bend area of Texas. A high-grade wax is produced by boiling the plant in large vats, which we have seen in process on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. The wax has many uses, in making candles, soap, ointments, sealing wax, phonograph records, insulation material, shoe polish, floor polish, waterproofing, and lubricants.
          Warning: Plants of this genus can be toxic if ingested; known to fatally poison cattle. Contact with plant can cause irritation of skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
          Conspicuous Flowers: yes


          Propagation Material: Root Division
          Description: Increase by root division.
          Seed Collection: Not Available
          Seed Treatment: Not Available
          Commercially Avail: yes

          From the National Organizations Directory

          According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

          Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
          NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
          NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX


          Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
          Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
          Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
          Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

          Search More Titles in Bibliography

          From the Archive

          Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.2 - Preservation Blooms in Recreated Prairies, New Wildflower Center Prairie Welcome...

          Additional resources

          USDA: Find Euphorbia antisyphilitica in USDA Plants
          FNA: Find Euphorbia antisyphilitica in the Flora of North America (if available)
          Google: Search Google for Euphorbia antisyphilitica


          Record Modified: 2009-02-20
          Research By: TWC Staff

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