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Euphorbia coalcomanensis


Euphorbia coalcomanensis

Family Name: Euphorbiaceae
Synonyms: Pedilanthus coalcomanensis
Common Name: Little Bird Plant, Candle Cactus, Bird Flower Plant, Candelilla


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular


Native Distribution Mexico
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Succulent shrub growing up to 2 m tall.
Foliage Green, fuzzy leaves are oval to oblong with entire leaf margin and rounded apex.
Flowers Flowers have pink to red bracts (modified leaves) that are oval-shaped with a sharply-pointed tip. The inflorescence (known as a cyathia) is cream to bright green and shaped like a bird. Each cyathia is partly enclosed by a pair of bracts. The numerous stamens bundled together resemble a bird's tail.
Habitat Occurs in seasonal tropical dry forests.
Cultivation This species grows best in well-drained soil that is kept on the dry side.
Etymology The genus Euphorbia means Euphorbus, the physician to the King of Mauritiana, who used the latex of a spurge for medicinal purposes. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Others: The plant is said to be the source of candelila wax, which is used in the same way as carnauba wax, to make candles, polishes and varnish.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping The plant is suitable as a specimen or grown in mass for screening. It also provides an excellent backdrop with lower-growing plants or ground covers in the front of the landscape. It is also suitable for xeriscaping as it is tolerant to drought after established. 
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses Hedge / Screening, Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Rockery / Desert Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Irritant - Sap

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast to Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils
Pruning Prune the flowering stalks after blooming stops, to induce branching and increase flowering. 
Fertilizing Fertilize once a month with a balanced fertilizer. 
Potential Problems Mealybugs
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Modification Flower/Fruit Bract
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Acute

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Green, Pink, Red
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Inflorescence Type Cyathium
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Image Repository



Master ID 29851
Species ID 4160
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 04 August 2022.