Snow-on-the-Mountain, is native to much of the continental U.S., and was one of the plants collected by Lewis and Clark on their expedition across North America. (A specimen believed to be collected by William Clark in 1806 can be found in the Lewis & Clark Herbarium at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.)
This drought-tolerant annual can be grown in sun or partial shade, but it popped up this summer in a fairly shady part of my garden and is doing quite well. It grows to a height of 2 or 3 feet and is not very picky about soil, as long as it is not too wet. It has few problems with pests or disease.
I've read that Snow-on-the-Mountain will attract butterflies and smaller bees, but mine mainly seems to attract flies and wasps as its pollinators. (Aren't I lucky?)
Euphorbia marginata is supposed to be long-lasting as a cut flower if its ends are seared - but it is a cut-at-your-own-risk type of plant. Unfortunately the stems contain milky sap that can cause a skin reaction for some people (especially those allergic to Latex), so cut stems must be handled with gloves. Some early cattlemen even used the sap to brand cattle in place of a hot iron. (Yikes!)
Some Native Americans used this plant medicinally. The Lakotas made a tea out of it to stimulate milk production in new mothers and crushed its leaves to use as a liniment for swelling. The Kiowa used it as chewing gum, since it forms a type of latex. It is now considered mildly toxic when eaten, as it is rather purgative. Deer and other animals generally tend to leave this plant alone.
There are several cultivars of Snow-on-the-Mountain available. It is best to sow the seeds directly where you want the plants or to plant deep plugs, as it doesn't like to be transplanted. They will then self-seed for the next year.
|seed pod forming on Snow-on-the-Mountain|
Today is Wildflower Wednesday! You can see native wildflowers blooming in other bloggers' gardens at the site Clay and Limestone.