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

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


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

An invasive plant in North America

© Adrian Knowles