E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #1954)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Daphne laureola
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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

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

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

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Additional 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.


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) 50 107 192
Slope Gradient (%) 0 6 15
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
134 155 200
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(6)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References