Belongs to: shrubs

Spurge laurel Daphne laureola

Best time to see: mid Jan to mid Apr

Key facts

An evergreen shrub with thick glossy leaves, found in open woods on chalky soils, growing up to 1m tall

Yellow-green scented tubular flowers open as early as January

These are followed by egg-shaped berries that are green at first and turn black in late summer when ripe


Berries (and leaves) are poisonous to humans but birds such as greenfinches can safely eat them

The flowers are attractive to moths and bees, a valuable early source of nectar

An invasive plant in North America

  • Main photo

Photo © Adrian Knowles