Spurge Laurel

Daphne laureola

  1. Wildlife
  2. Trees and shrubs
  3. Spurge Laurel


Evergreen shrub found in open  woods on calcareous soils.

How to identify

This shrub branches direct from the ground and grows up to 1 metre high. Has dark green, shiny, narrow leatherly oval leaves clustered at the top of each stem. The small bright, yellow-green, 4-lobed flowers are tubular and borne in clusters of 3-10 in the axils of the upper leaves. Develops green egg-shaped berries that turn black when ripe in late summer. Poisonous to humans but not to bird.

Where to find it

Widespread but very local in England and Wales, particularly in beech woods.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage habitats for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. By volunteering for your local Trust you'll be able to get involved in directly managing different habitats as well as make new friends and learn new skills along the way.

Species information

Common name
Spurge Laurel
Latin name
Daphne laureola
Trees and shrubs
Branches up to 1 metre high. Leaves 5--12 cm long.