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Products > Pedilanthus bracteatus
Pedilanthus bracteatus - Tall Slipper plant

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Euphorbiaceae (Spurges)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [P pavonis, Euphorbia bracteata]
Height: 4-8 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): No Irrigation required
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Pedilanthus bracteatus (Slipper plant) - Growing to around 6 feet tall (to 9 feet in habitat), this upright succulent branches from the base and has narrow cylindrical green stems with ovate leaves, with a thick prominent mid-vein on the lower surface, that occurs just near the branch tips. All vegetative parts of the plant are often sparsely hairy. In the warmth of late spring and summer through fall appear the curiously shaped red cyathia (flower structures containing separate male and female parts) that are enclosed in rounded reddish-pink bracts near the branch tips. Plant in full sun to light shade (leafy but with fewer flowers in deeper shade) in a well-drained soil and water sparingly to not at all. This plant has been hardy for us to down to at least 25 F and it is listed by some as being hardy to 20. This plant is a fun addition in the garden in the ground or as a container specimen. It is native to dry deciduous woodlands in Mexico from Sonora to Guerrero. This plant is easily distinguished from Pedilanthus macrocarpus, a Baja California species (which we also grow) that is also seen in southwestern gardens, by its taller height and longer stems as well as the presence of leaves at the branch tips which the leafless Pedilanthus macrocarpus lacks. The curious flowers on several Pedilanthus species are somewhat shoe-shaped and give this genus the common name Slipper Plant. Other common names include Slipper Spurge and Candelilla (more commonly associated with Euphorbia antisyphilitica and Pedilanthus macrocarpus), for the hard brown wax from this species. The Pedilanthus have been reclassified many times and the current treatment is to include them with the genus Euphorbia, making this plant's valid name Euphorbia bracteata - we continue to list it as Pedilanthus until such time as this change is more widely recognized. The name Pedilanthus comes from the Greek words 'pedil' meaning "shoe" and 'anthos' meaning "flower" in reference to the shoe-shaped flower structures that some members of the genus have and the specific epithet for this species means "bearing bracts" in reference its prominent bracts. Our thanks to Santa Barbara landscaper contractor Cathleen Lynch, who first shared this plant with us.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Pedilanthus bracteatus.