Euphorbia marginata, or snow on the mountain, is an annual plant with variegated green and silver leaves and greenish-yellow blooms bound by white bracts. This North American native grows 1 to 3 feet high and spreads between 1 and 2 feet, and gardeners plant them as borders, in containers and in specimen gardens. The plant blooms in late summer and early fall.
Euphorbia marginata requires full sun with afternoon shade in hotter climates and thrives in well-drained, dry to medium-moist soil. It is easy to grow in the garden from seed, and growers can also start the seed indoors six to eight weeks before the last spring frost date. Plants self-seed and remain in the garden from one growing season to the next. Snow on the mountain tolerates poor soil, drought, deer and air pollution. Although its flowers aren't showy, the mature top leaves and white bracts are attractive. Euphorbia marginata sap is toxic when ingested, and some gardeners suffer skin rashes from contact with it. Growers can avoid rashes by wearing gardening gloves when handling the plants. These plants are resistant to most insects and diseases, but they tend to be prone to aphid infestations. Euphorbia marginata is native to Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Texas and Missouri, and it is good for naturalizing gardens.