Herb: Candelilla

Latin name: Euphorbia antisyphilitica

Synonyms: Euphorbia antisyphillitica, Euphorbia cerifera

Family: Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)

Edible parts of Candelilla:

A wax from the plant can be used to make chewing gum.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Habitat of the herb:


Other uses of Candelilla:

A wax is obtained from the whole plant and is used as a polish, water proofer, for making records, lighting etc. The wax exudes from the plant pores and forms a thin skin on the stems. Most is produced in the winter and it is extracted by boiling up the plant.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a warm greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings can be taken throughout the growing season. Leave them to dry and callus for 2 weeks before potting them up.

Cultivation of Candelilla:


Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Euphorbia antisyphilitica:

The sap contains a latex which is toxic on ingestion and highly irritant externally, causing photosensitive skin reactions and severe inflammation, especially on contact with eyes or open cuts. The toxicity can remain high even in dried plant material. Prolonged and regular contact with the sap is inadvisable because of its carcinogenic nature.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.