Euphorbia Species, Cypress Spurge, Bonaparte's Crown, Graveyard Moss, Graveyard Spurge

Euphorbia cyparissias

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: cyparissias (sy-par-ISS-ee-ass) (Info)
Synonym:Esula cyparissias
Synonym:Euphorbia degenerata
Synonym:Euphorbia esuloides
Synonym:Keraselma cyparissias
Synonym:Tithymalus cyparissias



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Stanford, California

Chadwick, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Yorkville, Illinois

Calvert City, Kentucky

Ewing, Kentucky

Prospect, Kentucky

Brookeville, Maryland

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Scottville, Michigan

Piedmont, Missouri

Lima, Ohio

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Lawrenceburg, Tennessee

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Olympia, Washington

Spokane, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 1, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A noxious weed here in Massachusetts, spreading both by seed and underground by stolons. In the garden, this is a nasty thug, hard to control and impossible to eradicate. I suspect that it can escape from a sunken pot by seed or through the drainholes.

Here in Massachusetts, its trade, sale, transport, and planting are illegal, because of the damage it does to natural areas.

If you're trading divisions of perennials from your garden and you also grow this, please warn your trading partners.


On Feb 18, 2010, eclayne from East Longmeadow, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:

Noxious Weed Information:
Euphorbia cyparissias L.

This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state.
cypress spurge A list (noxious weeds)
cypress spurge Potentially invasive, banned
cypress spurge Prohibited


On Mar 29, 2009, cheerpeople from northwest, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Loved it before I knew how far it would spread. Now, in less than a year, it is coming up 2 ft from where it was planted and is in my other precious plants.
The roots go very deep and so thoughts to contain it with a bottomless pot went out the window. I have dug up all I can find. I'm sure I will doing battle for some time. The nursery in Galva should not have sold this plant.


On May 12, 2008, willmetge from Spokane, WA (Zone 5b) wrote:

Very invasive! In one and a half years it has gone from a sprig to a 10' circle of suckers coming up in the flower bed and lawn. It is very difficult to pull out and bleeds white sap all over hands & gloves (luckily I haven't had any reactions to the sap). Even the smallest fragment of root produces a new plant. I've tried transplanting plants from that flower bed to another only to have a small root fragment in the transplant start a new colony.


On Jun 25, 2007, kittycritters from Lima, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

While this is known to be invasive in some areas, I have no problem keeping it under control (NW Ohio). The shade of green and the texture are a beautiful addition to mixed perennials. Stays soft and green even in dry hot conditions.


On May 16, 2007, ArianesGrandma from Yorkville, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I just LOVE this Plant..its so SOFT and very colorful.....I put this around a stump to hide it and it looks GREAT there.....and I love the smell / scent. The color is stunning next to my purple smoke bush. Its been there 3 years and I've had no problems with it spreading...and I look forward to seeing it each spring & in the fall the color of this plant is also amazing and worth the wait.


On Jun 10, 2005, asqcqm from Sheboygan,
United States wrote:

This plant is invasive and is listed as such by multiple organizations. It does grow well in our Wisconsin garden. My 2 year old son broke out with blisters across his face and had significant swelling after contact with this plant. We have not determined if it will leave lasting scars. Upon attempting eradication of the plant, my wife had the same effect from contact.


On Nov 25, 2004, caron from Woodland Park, CO (Zone 4b) wrote:

Colorado Class A Noxious Weed. Mandatory eradication.
All locations of this plant in Colorado should be immediately reported to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.


On Nov 8, 2004, doss from Stanford, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I actually love this plant where it is. It by a dry creek bed and is interplanted with Mugo Pine, Iris, Statice, Mums etc. It is also next to the lawn but I use preemergent and haven't found a problem. Using pre-emergent is just part of the program here since I have so many Grasses. Then I just keep pulling as the season goes by. Invasive? I guess so, but it is also interplanted with Gaura which I consider a little too self-seeding also. But I think that I get the most comments on these two plants and the Statice. They are on the front walk.


On Jul 1, 2004, jhyshark from Scottville, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:

Sun or shade or wherever... as far as I can tell this is a non-stop plant. However, I keep it in a few spots and just keep ripping out what I don't want because it is a great filler, and is pretty for a long time. After the yellow blooms are done the seed pods are a golden orange/brown for most of the summer. Do be careful as you may get a rash from the milky sap... perhaps even wear rubber gloves when pulling/ digging it. I currently have a rash all over my face... must have brushed away a mosquito while working... not terrible, but some people react much worse than I do.


On Oct 10, 2001, Baa wrote:

Herbaceous perennial from West and Southern Europe.

Has linear, blue green leaves crowded onto slim stems which appear all around the original plant. Bears small yellow involucres (cups around the flowers) and tiny yellow flowerparts.

Flowers April-June

Likes poorish, well drained soil in full sun but mine spends most of its life in shade. Doesn't seem to have curbed its invasiveness.

Far too easy to grow.