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IMGP3583 cypress spurge bwmc 4 inch.jpg
  • Grow up to 60 centimeters tall

  • Introduced from Europe as an ornamental plant

  • Has the shape of a bottle brush


Cypress spurge
(Euphorbia cyparissias)

Quick Identification

  • Hairless yellowish-green stems

  • Yellow flowers are bunched at top of stem

  • Stalk and leaves are bristly or hairy

  • Thin, waxy leaves spiral around the stem

Crowds out native species, damaging habitat.  Is toxic to animals and people when ingested and touched.  White latex sap can cause blindness if eyes are contacted.

Hand pulling can help reduce spread but eye and hand protection should be worn due to the toxicity of the plant.  Mowing can reduce spread if done before seed forms.  Effective herbicides are available.

Bright yellow flowers appear at the top of the plant from late spring to early summer.  They turn a rusty red at maturity.  

Leaves & Stems
Leaves are 2.5 to 3 cm long, thin, waxy and blue-green.  Leaves spiral around the stem. When broken or damaged leaves and stems release a milky latex which is toxic.

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Preferred Habitat
Grows on dry gravelly roadsides, stream banks, meadows and pastures.  Is shade tolerant.

The taproot can grow to 3 m in length.  Rhizomes and root buds help to spread the plant.

Reproduction & Dispersal
Spreads by seeds and creeping rhizomes and root fragments.  Seeds are spread by wind, water, wildlife and human activity.

Seeds are oval and grey to brown mottled.  Plants can produce hundreds of seeds per plant which can last in the soil for up to 8 years.

Interesting Facts
Is toxic to humans, pets, and wildlife.  The milky, latex can lead to blindness.

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