Believe me when I say that if Fire-on-the Mountain were blooming right now, I would pot it up and use it for my holiday decorations.
I am serious! It's a lovely over looked native!
|I love this simple plant|
It's the innermost parts of each bract that turn a vibrant red from midsummer to frost. That's how it got its many names~dwarf poinsettia, fire on the mountain, fire-on-the-mountain, Mexican fire plant, painted leaf, painted poinsettia, painted spurge, painted-leaf, painted-leaf spurge, poinsettia, summer poinsettia, wild poinsettia. To me it's either Fire on the Mountain or Wild Poinsettia!
If you garden for wildlife, you'll love that small insects, butterflies and sphinx moths are attracted to the yellow pollen found in the clusters of small flowers (known as 'cyanthia') and that the Sphinx moths forage on the foliage!
|source: Paul Rebmann UTK Herbarium*|
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.