Species Specifics: Snow-on-the-Mountain

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Snow on the Mountain - weed species

What to look for

Snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata) is an annual plant in the spurge family. It reaches heights of 2 to 4 feet and has oblong, light green and white leaves. Its “flowers” are several white bracts (leaflike structures) clustered at the top.

Where it is found

Snow-on-the-mountain is native to much of the United States and was regarded as an ornamental plant, but its growth habits caused it to spread to areas where it’s unwanted. It tolerates most soil types but prefers shaded areas — it’s commonly found near fence lines and trees. It spreads by underground rhizomes. Mechanical control is not recommended because broken-off pieces of rhizomes can quickly form new plants and expand infestations. 

How to treat it

Cattle typically will not graze snow-on-the-mountain because of its bitter taste but will if desirable forage is scarce, such as during drought. If the land is hayed, livestock are not able to be as selective. You should prioritize removing this weed in pastures before grazing and in hayfields before harvesting because its milky sap causes skin, mouth and digestive tract irritation if consumed.

“While cattle rarely die from consuming snow-on-the-mountain, the health complications and stress associated with it reduce weight gain, performance and profitability,” says Jerome Otto, market development specialist at Corteva Agriscience.

To control snow-on-the-mountain, apply 16 to 20 fluid ounces of DuraCor® herbicide with 1% v/v methylated seed oil or 3 pints of Surmount® herbicide per acre. Treat when plants are 12 inches or taller. Increase the rate as the season progresses and plants are maturing. Do not apply after bloom.


Surmount® is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Under normal field conditions, DuraCor® is nonvolatile. DuraCor has no grazing or haying restrictions for any class of livestock, including lactating dairy cows, horses (including lactating mares) and meat animals prior to slaughter. Label precautions apply to forage treated with DuraCor to manure and urine from animals that have consumed treated forage. DuraCor and Surmount are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Consult the label for full details. Always read and follow label directions. 

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