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Spurge laurel/Daphne

Spurge laurel/Daphne

Spurge laurel/Daphne

(Daphne laureola)

Priority: -  Eradicate

Tags: Terrestrial | Toxic

Identification and Reproduction

Identification:

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. 

Reproduction:

  • 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.

Impacts

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

Management

Mechanical:

  • 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. 

Chemical: 

  • 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



Resources

https://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weeds/spurge-laurel

 

https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/animals-and-plants/noxious-weeds/weed-identification/spurge-laurel.aspx

 

https://bcinvasives.ca/invasive-species/identify/invasive-plants/daphne

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Daphne_laureola_(16186894587).jpg

https://bcinvasives.ca/news-events/media/articles/weed-of-the-week-daphne-spurge-laurel