Daphne laureola L.
spurge-laurel (spurgelaurel)
Thymelaeaceae (Mezereum family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #1954)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Daphne laureola
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend


Spurge-laurel (Daphne laureola) is an invasive and noxious weed in BC. It is an introduced shrub that is found in Europe, southwestern Asia, north Africa and the Mediterranean region in oak and conifer woods ( Nevling and Barringer 2018). It has escaped from gardens in the Pacific Northwest and is now found throughout the southwest corner of the province. It easily spreads in gardens and in regional forests. The bark, sap and berries are toxic to humans: the sap is very irritating to the skin. This species is listed by the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, WorkSafe BC Toxic Plant Warning and the Invasive Plant Council of BC. The BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations lists this species as a reportable weed in BC via their Report a Weed program.

Note author: Rose Klinkenberg

Species Information

Evergreen shrub, bushy, 0.5-1.8 m tall.
Alternate, oval to oblanceolate, tapering towards the base, dark green, somewhat glossy, 4-13 cm long.
Inflorescence of axillary, nearly unstalked clusters; corollas lacking; calyces pale green, with 4 cylindrical, spreading lobes.
Drupes, egg-shaped, black, 8-11 mm long.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Daphne laureola

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
107 50 192
Slope Gradient (%)
6 0 15

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

155 134 200
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 1 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in


Habitat and Range

Mesic forests and waste areas in the lowland zone; infrequent on S Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and adjacent mainland; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Taxonomic Notes

This species is listed by the Greater Vancouver Invasive Plant Council of the twelve most problematic species in the Vancouver region. For further information about control of this species, visit their web site.