Snow on the mountain | View of Wimberley


Like me, you may travel the Winter’s Mill Parkway regularly. If so, you may have noticed a pretty flower blooming along the railings. Snow-on-the-Mountain (Euphorbia marginata) graces us with its presence when almost everything else is dry and wilted. This tall wildflower is showy from August through October. We don’t often get snow and we are in the hills not the mountains, but the common name for this beauty comes from the pretty white tops of the plant. The actual flowers are inconspicuous, but are surrounded by white, petal-like bracts and pale green leaves edged with white.

This native plant grows in western Texas and New Mexico and northern Minnesota and Montana. It is happy in almost any soil and tolerates both wet and dry conditions. I’m always interested in a plant’s benefits to wildlife. Snowon-the-Mountain is considered toxic to mammals, and it is also a skin irritant – best to look at but not to touch. The good news is that mourning doves eat the seeds and the flowers are a source of late summer nectar for bees and butterflies.

So take a drive through Winters Mill and enjoy a feast for your eyes.

If you walk the trail in this area, you will definitely notice these beauties. I’ve also seen Snow-on-the-Mountain along Jacob’s Well Road, and it’s been seen in the past at Patsy Glenn Refuge and Jacob’s Well Natural Area. Now that the morning temperature is moderate, I will check these areas.

Recent rains have been nice but were not close enough to help our trees and aquifers. Please continue to save water in every way possible.

Becky Denton, Hays County Master Naturalists


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