Sea spurge

Sea Spurge


Sea spurge

Scientific name: Euphorbia paralias
As its name suggests, Sea spurge is found at the coast. It is an attractive plant that displays cup-shaped, greeny-yellow flowers and fleshy, grey-green leaves.

Species information


Height: up to 60cm

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Sea spurge is a common plant of sand dunes and coastal areas, especially in Southern England and Wales. It flowers between June and October and has fleshy leaves that help the plant to retain water in the arid conditions in which it thrives. It is a popular plant among gardeners in coastal areas when creating salt-tolerant gardens and rockeries.

How to identify

The greeny-yellow flowers of Sea spurge have no petals or sepals, but are held in cup-shaped bracts. The upright stems carry closely packed, rounded, fleshy, grey-green leaves.


Scattered distribution around the UK's coast, scarcer in Scotland.

Did you know?

As with other spurges, Sea spurge produces a milky white sap which is toxic; in other parts of the world, these saps have been used to tip poisoned arrows.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many coastal nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.