Spurge Laurel, Wood Laurel


Hazard Information

Route: Ingestion     Plant Part: Seeds, All

Scale:  Low

Few are usually eaten due to their taste. Cause burning mount, vomiting, weakness, convulsions, and death if eaten in large quantities.




Common Name(s)

Spurge Laurel 

or Wood Laurel

Latin Name

Daphne Laureola


This is an evergreen shrub which grows to about 1 Metre (3ft) tall. The leaves are a glossy dark green and oval shaped. The fragrant flowers are tubular and pale green. The berries are green turning to blue-black when ripe.


All parts of this plant are poisonous especially the seeds inside the berries. The berries are very similar to blackcurrants in appearance and are attractive to children.


The berries have an acrid taste so usually few are ever eaten. The usual symptoms are a burning mouth, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness and in more serious cases convulsions and death.

Flowering Period

Late Winter early Spring followed by black fruits.


Grows wild in Britain, usually in woods on chalky soils.