Cnidoscolus stimulosus plant

Family – Euphorbiaceae


Leaves: N/A

Inflorescence: N/A


Cnidoscolus stimulosus flower
Cnidoscolus stimulosus fruit


Flowering – Nearly all year along the coast. Spring – fall elsewhere.

Habitat – Sandhills, beaches, scrub, dry hammocks, dry pastures, fields, roadsides.

Origin – Native to North America and tropical America.

Other information – This attractive but painful species can be found mainly in the southern half of Alabama. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its big white flowers, three to five-lobed leaves, and painful stinging hairs.

A modern synonym is Cnidoscolus urens var stimulosus

The genus name Cnidoscolus derives from the Greek “cnid(o)” meaning “a nettle” and “scolus” meaning “a thorn.”

The species epithet stimulosus derives from the Latin “stimul(us)” meaning “goad (prod, to urge, a stimulus).”

Alabama Distribution


Photographs taken off Lee Rd 10, Auburn AL., 8-24-04.

More Alabama flowering plants here.

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.