Doing the dirty on Daphne

It has such an innocent sounding name. After all, the original Daphne was, so mythology tells us, a beautiful water nymph who was chased by randy Apollo and to escape his clutches was transformed into a laurel. 

In the woodlands of Europe, Daphne, the Spurge Laurel, Daphne laureola, has its natural place in local environments. However in North America, it is a vigorous invasive, overcrowding and choking native vegetation. Fittingly, it isn’t actually a laurel! 

Daphne is one of the nuisance invasive on Vancouver Island that I’ve been trained both to spot and to remove. When the ground is soft it is usually pretty easy simply to pull up, preferably before it has flowered or produced seeds that are spread by birds. It has a characteristic smell.

Here are couple of before and after examples of my efforts:

Daphne creeping up the hill into Thetis Lake park, ironically not far from CRD headquarters!

Removal of Daphne reveals a rather bare forest floor. Hopefully, now that sunlight can reach the leaf litter and soil surface, native vegetation will recover.

Daphne blanketing an area in Nursery Hill park.

Removing the Daphne reveals Oregon Grape and other species that had been hidden.

Author: ralphblog

I am a historical archaeologist, writer and editor. I live in Saanich, Victoria, British Columbia.

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