Cnidoscolus angustidens – Mala Mujer

Cnidoscolus angustidens - Mala Mujer

Cnidoscolus angustidens - Mala Mujer

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Cnidoscolus angustidens

Common Name: Mala Mujer

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland. It grows on rocky hillsides and is especially common in the foothills of Arizona's Santa Rita Mountains.

Flower Color: White

Flowering Season: Spring (late), Summer

Height: To 4 feet (1.2 m) tall

Description: The 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) wide male flowers are in clusters and have white stamens and 5 petal-like lobes. The small, round female flowers are at the base of the male flower clusters. The attractive, maple-like leaves are dark green, heart-shaped, lobed, toothed, and covered in white polka dots. A stinging hair is at the center of each white dot, so do not touch the leaves. Stinging hairs are also present on the stems and at the base of the flowers.

Special Characteristics

Stinging or Itching – The entire plant is dotted with stinging hairs that can cause extreme pain and severe contact dermatitis if touched, making Mala Mujer (bad woman) a good plant to avoid.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Euphorbiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae – Spurge family
Genus: Cnidoscolus Pohl – cnidoscolus
Species: Cnidoscolus angustidens Torr. – mala mujer

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map