Open the Advanced Search

Wood Spurge

Euphorbia amygdaloides

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Euphorbiaceae (Spurge)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, rocky places, scrub, woodland.

Yellow, no petals
Yellowish-green or lime-green flowers. No petals and no sepals. The flowers each contain 4 horseshoe-shaped glands (involucral glands).
Smooth, stalked capsule.
Slightly hairy, glossy, dark green, lanceolate leaves which are about 6cm long and 2cm wide. Untoothed and often reddish. An evergreen perennial flower, usually found in woodlands, often growing on bare ground. Frequently encountered as a garden escape species.
Other Names:
Almond Spurge.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Euphorbia amygdaloides, also known as wood spurge or almond spurge, is a perennial plant that is native to Europe and western Asia. It typically grows in woods, hedgerows, and rocky habitats, and can reach a height of up to 60 cm. The plant has glossy, dark green leaves that are arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant. The small, yellow-green flowers are arranged in clusters and bloom in the spring. It is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens and is grown for its attractive foliage. It is toxic if ingested, and contact with the sap may cause skin irritation.


Wood Spurge, or Euphorbia amygdaloides, is a strikingly beautiful plant that can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any garden. This herbaceous perennial is native to Europe, where it can be found growing in woodland areas and on shady slopes.

Wood Spurge is a member of the Euphorbia family, which includes over 2,000 species of plants. This family is known for its unique floral structures, which often resemble tiny flowers surrounded by colorful bracts.

One of the most striking features of Wood Spurge is its leaves. The leaves are narrow and pointed, with a distinctive blue-green color that is both striking and soothing. The leaves grow in a rosette pattern at the base of the plant, and the stem is topped with a cluster of small, greenish-yellow flowers.

Wood Spurge is an easy plant to grow, making it a popular choice for gardeners. It prefers partial shade and moist, well-draining soil. It is also tolerant of a wide range of soil types, from sandy to loamy to clayey.

This plant is also very low-maintenance. It does not require much in the way of fertilizer or watering, and it is relatively pest-resistant. However, it is important to note that all parts of the plant are toxic if ingested, so care should be taken when planting it in areas where children or pets may be present.

In addition to its beauty and ease of care, Wood Spurge has a number of medicinal properties. It has been used for centuries as a traditional herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, including skin conditions, respiratory issues, and digestive problems. However, it is important to note that the use of this plant for medicinal purposes should only be undertaken under the guidance of a trained healthcare professional.

Wood Spurge is a lovely and easy-to-care-for plant that can add a touch of natural beauty to any garden. Its unique coloration and elegant structure make it a standout among other perennials, and its low-maintenance nature makes it a favorite of gardeners of all skill levels. Whether you are looking for a striking focal point for your garden or just a simple addition to your existing landscape, Wood Spurge is a plant that is definitely worth considering.

In addition to its ornamental and medicinal uses, Wood Spurge also has some interesting ecological functions. The plant is a good source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, making it an important part of the food web. It also provides habitat and shelter for small animals, such as mice and insects, that may make their homes in the plant's dense foliage.

Interestingly, Wood Spurge has also been used as a natural dye. The plant contains a yellow sap that can be used to dye wool and other fibers. However, the sap is toxic and can cause skin irritation, so care should be taken when using it for dyeing purposes.

Another interesting fact about Wood Spurge is that it has been used in the production of latex. The plant's latex contains a natural resin that can be used in the production of rubber products. However, this use of the plant has largely been supplanted by synthetic rubber production.

Wood Spurge is a fascinating and beautiful plant with a rich history of uses and benefits. Whether you are a gardener, a herbalist, or just someone who appreciates the beauty of the natural world, Wood Spurge is a plant that is sure to capture your interest and your imagination.

One thing to note about Wood Spurge is that it can spread quickly through underground rhizomes, making it potentially invasive in some areas. For this reason, it is important to be mindful of where you plant it and to monitor its growth to prevent it from spreading too much.

However, if you have a large, shady area where you're looking for a low-maintenance ground cover, Wood Spurge can be a great choice. It can form a dense mat of foliage, suppressing weeds and creating a lush, green carpet.

If you're considering planting Wood Spurge in your garden, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure you choose a location with partial shade and well-draining soil. Wood Spurge doesn't like full sun, and it can be susceptible to root rot if the soil is too wet.

Second, remember that all parts of the plant are toxic if ingested. If you have pets or young children, you may want to choose a different plant or be sure to place the Wood Spurge in an area that's not easily accessible.

Finally, be prepared to do some occasional pruning to keep the plant from spreading too much. You can cut back the plant after it flowers in the spring to prevent it from becoming too leggy, and you can also remove any rhizomes that are spreading beyond the area where you want the plant to grow.

Wood Spurge is a fascinating and versatile plant that can add beauty and interest to any garden. Whether you're interested in its ornamental, medicinal, or ecological uses, this unique and striking plant is definitely worth considering for your landscape.

Another interesting aspect of Wood Spurge is that it has been used in traditional folklore and mythology. In some cultures, it was believed to have mystical powers and was used in magical rituals. For example, in ancient Greece, Euphorbia was associated with the goddess Euphrosyne, who was one of the three Graces and was known for her joy and mirth.

In addition to its use in folklore and mythology, Wood Spurge has also been studied for its potential medical applications. Some preliminary research suggests that it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties, although more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits.

Another potential benefit of Wood Spurge is its ability to repel pests. The plant contains a natural chemical called euphorbine, which has been shown to have insecticidal properties. This makes it a potential natural alternative to chemical insecticides, which can be harmful to the environment and to human health.

Overall, Wood Spurge is a fascinating and versatile plant that has a rich history and a variety of potential uses. Whether you're interested in its ornamental, medicinal, ecological, or even mystical properties, there's no denying that this plant has a lot to offer. If you're looking for a low-maintenance, visually striking plant that can thrive in partial shade, Wood Spurge is definitely worth considering for your garden or landscape.


Wood Spurge filmed at Siccaridge Wood in the Cotswolds on the 27th June 2023.


Please remember to Like and Subscribe to the WildFlowerWeb YouTube channel at

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map