Thanks for the click! Did you manage to guess this week’s “I Spy”? Keep on reading to find out which invasive plant we’re on the look out for this week.
Cypress Spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias) is a perennial, originally from Europe. It was brought to North America as a garden ornamental. It has since then escaped the confines of our gardens and is now considered invasive in British Columbia.
Cypress Spurge can grow to between 15 – 30 cm tall and is easily identifiable by its leaves, which are 2 – 4 cm long and extremely narrow, with branch leaves being (even) narrower than stem leaves. Cypress Spurge has small greenish-yellow flowers that are clustered in a bowl-like involucre (whorl/rosette) and interestingly, has both male and female flowers on one plant. This plant also produces a toxic, milky-looking sap that can cause skin irritations, and is toxic when ingested by horses and cattle.
Cypress Spurge can be found growing in open disturbed areas, like along dry, gravelly roadsides, in pastures, and in meadows. It’s highly detrimental to the areas that it invades because it crowds out pastures, reduces native plant biodiversity and can displace wildlife/ livestock by eliminating foraging areas.
Currently, SSISC is working to eradicate Cypress Spurge in Squamish and Whistler, and prevent its spread in Pemberton, so if you think you’ve spotted this invasive anywhere, report it to us at either [email protected], ssisc.ca/report or at (604) 698-8334.