Europe and Asia
The distribution of Cypress Spurge is a major concern in the Kootenay, Okanagan, Thompson and Cariboo regions of BC. In the Columbia Shuswap, it can be found in the Salmon Arm IPMA and Golden IPMA. Cypress spurge is a provincially noxious weed under the BC Weed Control Act.
Similarly to Leafy Spurge, Cypress Spurge is a perennial found at low to mid-elevations on dry roadsides, grasslands and open forests rapidly forming large colonies. It has clusters of bright yellow-green flowers that bloom earlier than those of the Leafy Spurge. The leaves have no leaf stalk and are hairless, narrow and spiral around the stem. The leaves of the Cypress Spurge tend to be narrower than those of the Leafy Spurge. The extensive root system can exceed 4.5 meters horizontally and 9 meters vertically making it an aggressive invader. Cypress Spurge is categorized as a competitive invasive plant as it produces a compound in the soil that inhibits the growth of other plants nearby.
Herbicides have been successful with small infestations. Multiple treatments are required every year for several years due to the aggressive nature of this plant and can re-infest rapidly if left untreated. Mechanical removal is ineffective due to the extensive root system of Cypress Spurge.
You can help!
Be Plant Wise! Plant native or non-invasive alternatives such as Broad-leaf Stonecrop, Yellow Ice Plant, Red Hot Poker, Common Rockrose and Yellow Gem Shrubby Cinquefoil.
Read more about these alternatives here GMI-Booklet_2013_WEB