Cypress spurge

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Euphorbia cyparissias L.

Common name(s): cypress spurge, Bonaparte’s crown, graveyard moss, graveyard weed

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– perennial


-leaves are

  • simple
  • alternate
  • entire

-can form a bushy ground cover

-can grow to 2-2.5 feet in height

– may be confused with E. esula; see left sidebar of Go Botany webpage


-disturbed sites



Natural History:

-native to Europe

-introduced to North American in the 2800s for ornamental use

-European flea beetles were introduced to control this species



Go Botany. “Euphorbia Cyparissias L.” Euphorbia Cyparissias (Cypress Spurge): Go Botany, 2021,