Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
Invasive Plant

Cypress spurge

Euphorbia cyparissias
Warning icon


Toxic to humans, livestock and wildlife when consumed, or when its sap (latex) contacts skin. The sap causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea when eaten. It can cause blindness if it gets in people’s eyes and skin contact causes redness, swelling and blisters.

About This Species

Cypress spurge (Graveyard weed) was introduced to North America from Europe as an ornamental plant but has since escaped. It prefers sun but tolerates shade as well. It can be found growing in open, disturbed sites like meadows, pastures, and roadsides. It grows quickly and aggressively, releasing chemicals from its roots which stop other plants growing near it. This helps it crowd out native species. Cypress surge is designated as a Management species by the BC Provincial Priority Invasive Species List. 

How to Identify

Cypress spurge is a perennial herb that can be 10–60 cm tall growing through creeping rhizomes.  

Flowers are yellow to green and turn red at maturity. 

Leaves are 2.5–3 cm long, thin, waxy, and blue-green that spiral around the stem.  

Take Action

Prevention is the best approach.

Play Clean Go


Learn about best practices



Learn about best practices

A few non-invasive alternatives to plant instead of Cypress spurge include:


Use the app

Observe and report to protect BC’s biodiversity

Report through this website

Use our form to tell us what you’re seeing and where.



Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 3 files.
Please include photos of the suspected species to help potential identification by experts.
Please be specific and give us an address if possible.