Spurge-laurel in old hedgerow, West Dorset
Leaves and clusters of flowers
Side view of flowers
Flower clusters from below
Close-up of sepals and anthers
Capitate stigma (top), immature stamens (below)
January to April
It is most common in the South, the Southeast, East Anglia
and the southern half of the Midlands. It is scattered elsewhere,
but is least common in parts of the Northwest and the far
For a map see the National Biodiversity Network Gateway
It grows in deciduous woodland, shrubland and in old
hedgerows, mainly on clay or lime.
It is tolerant of shade.
It is both introduced and native, but the two types are
difficult to tell apart.
Spurge-laurel is a native, evergreen shrub, growing up to 1.5m.
The flowers are in clusters below an arc of leaves.
Individual flowers are up to 5mm across, with 4 yellow green
sepals and no petals.
There are 4 stamens with yellow anthers.
The stigma is large, short and capitate.
The fruit is a black berry.
Leaves are dark green, glossy, oval to lanceolate,
and up to 12cm.
The stem is slightly branched and most of the leaves
are at the top of the branches.
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