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Cypress spurge

Cypress spurge

Cypress spurge

(Euphorbia cyparissias)

Priority: -  Contain

Tags: Terrestrial | Toxic

Identification and Reproduction

Identification

  • Cypress spurge is an erect, tufted perennial, growing up to 30 cm tall in small to large patches. 
  • Small, linear leaves in whorl pattern. 
  • Yellow flowers grow in bunches. Flowers turn purple-red when mature.
  • Yellow-green bracts under flowers. 
  • Plants have a milky sap.

Reproduction

Reproduces vegetatively through lateral root shoots or seeds.

Habitat & Ecology

Cypress spurge typically is found in dry areas; pastures, meadows, streambanks, forest edges and distrubed sites. 

Impacts

Social:

  • Reduce forage availability for livestock.
  • May be toxic to animals.
  • Milky sap may cause skin irritation.

Ecological

  • Displaces native vegetation, degrading wildlife habitat. 

Management

Mechanical/Manual Control:

  • Mowing (before seeding).
  • Hand pulling will be effective for small patches. Be sure to wear gloves to prevent skin exposure to the milky sap. 

Chemical Control:

  • Herbicide at early bud.
  • May need to do repeat herbicide applications.

Resources

For more information check out the USDA's Cypress Spurge page here

Header photo (Stefan.lefnaer).