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Spurge laurel/Daphne

Spurge laurel/Daphne

Spurge laurel/Daphne

(Daphne laureola)

Priority: -  Eradicate

Tags: Terrestrial | Toxic

Identification and Reproduction


Spurge-Laurel is an evergreen shrub native to Britain, with spring-blooming yellowish green flowers and black berries. 

  • Approximately 1.5 meter height 
  • Leaves are very dark green, shiny, smooth and thick. 
  • The twigs are stout and have a strong odor when cut. 
  • Flowering occurs from late January to late March or early April, followed by berries in early summer - flowers are pale yellow and located between leaf nodes (not at the tip of stems like other similar shrubs like rhododendrons)

  • Occurring in late summer, the berries are black and poisonous to people and pets, but not to birds. 


  • Spurge laurel can reproduce by seed or reproduce vegetatively through the production of root sprouts.

Habitat & Ecology

  • Spurge laurel can grow in a wide range of conditions, but thrives in full to partial shade and well-drained soils.


  • Outcompetes to certain native forest ecosystems.
  • Contain toxic sap has been known to cause skin rashes, nausea, swelling of the tongue, and coma.



  • IMPORTANT: Due to the irritating toxins in the sap, stem, leaves, and fruits, it is advisable to wear gloves and other protective gear when handling spurge laurel.
  • Hand pulling small infestations is effective. 
  • Larger shrubs that are too big to pull can be cut below soil line.
  • Watch the area for resprouts and recut as needed. 


  • Aminocyclopyrachlor, aminopyralid, glyphosate, imazapyr, and triclopyr + 2,4-D applied as cut stem treatments gave promising results in initial trials.
  • Imazapyr and triclopyr + 2,4-D applied to foliage also resulted in good control.

Alternative: N/A