I always feel like Fall is here when the ‘Snow on the Prairie’ starts to bloom.
Be sure to click on the photo for a better look.
We were driving back from lunch when Martha spotted these prairie flowers growing among some Mesquite trees in an undisturbed field. I really liked the lighting on the above photo. It was in the shade but highlighted by shafts of sunlight.
This plant grows 1–4 feet tall. Its slender upper leaves, 2–4 inches long, are green, edged with a narrow band of white. The lower leaves are alternate, grow close to the stem, and lack the white edging. They are 1–1 1/4 inches long. The numerous, inconspicuous flowers grow in terminal clusters. They are white, have no petals, and are either staminate (1 stamen) or pistillate (1 pistil). Clusters group together to form larger clusters surrounded by numerous leaflike bracts which are conspicuously white-margined, 1 1/8–2 1/8 inches long and about 1/4 inch wide. When the stem is broken it exudes a white, milky sap that is irritating to the skin of some persons.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Euphorbiaceae – Spurge family
Genus: Euphorbia L. – spurge
Species: Euphorbia bicolor Engelm. & A. Gray – Snow on the Prairie
Photographed just north of Ft. Worth, Texas (Tarrant County).
E. bicolor is often confused with a similar species, E. marginata (Snow on the Mountain) which has shorter, wider bracts.
Leave a comment.
Do you have this flower, or its close relative, Snow on the Mountain?
Have you seen either or both?
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database . National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
Troy & Martha