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Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Euphorbia antisyphilitica Zucc.
Candelilla, Wax plant
USDA Symbol: EUAN3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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, 1/16Ė1/8 inch across, grow near the tips of the stems. This plant is in the same genus as the holiday favorite Poinsettia.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Subshrub Leaf Retention: Evergreen Size Notes:
1-1 1/2 feet. Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
NM , TX Native Distribution:
Trans-Pecos, TX, s. to Mex. Native Habitat:
High elevation, Hillsides, Slopes USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
Grows in clumps, Attractive, Accent tree
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:
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division
Description: Increase by root division.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
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Record Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff