Spurge Laurel: Proceed with Caution

Spurge Laurel: Proceed with Caution
Spurge Laurel: Proceed with Caution

Spurge Laurel:

Proceed with Caution

Spurge Laurel sightings have recently been reported to SSISC. Upon further investigation, the SSISC field crew realized that the invasive, noxious and toxic weed was much more prevalent in Lion’s Bay than previously believed.

Spurge Laurel is native to Europe, Southwestern Asia, Northern Africa and the Mediterranean; it was introduced to BC as a garden ornamental. However, it escaped the constraints of manicured gardens and is now found along roadsides and moist wooded areas. It is shade tolerant and does not require the soil to be disturbed for invasion.




Spurge Laurel infestations reduce crop yields by crowding out forage fields and decreasing soil moisture and nutrients. Moreover, it outcompetes native plants by rapidly spreading in dense patches. Decaying plants may release toxic chemicals that inhibit germination of other plant species.


Handle with Care

All parts of Spurge Laurel are poisonous. The plant’s sap contains toxin that cause skin rashes, nausea, swelling of the tongue and even coma. The berries are poisonous to humans and pets (but not birds). Spurge-laurel is listed as a poisonous plant with the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, and Worksafe BC has issued a toxic plant warning.


What to do: Lion’s Bay

  • Spurge Laurel is to be contained to Lion’s Bay to avoid its spread further North.
  • Talk to your landscaping company about removing it or contact us.


Exercise caution if you choose to remove it yourself:

  • Wear protective gear – waterproof gloves, rubber raincoats and pants, eye protection, possibly a respirator
  • Hand-pull small plants, or dig out larger ones
  • Bag plant material and take it to a landfill; you can also incinerate the plant (DO NOT COMPOST)
  • Monitor the area for any new seedlings and cover with deep mulch.


What to do: Squamish

Contact the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council if you see Spurge Laurel anywhere in Squamish

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