Euphorbia paralias

Sea spurge

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Origin: Eurasia, North Africa

Sea Spurge growing in a wetland.
A perennial herb that can grow up to 1m tall. Prefers salty coastal waters and any plants that are seen must be reported to the Ministry of Primary Industries.

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Unwanted organism

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Smooth perennial herb < 1 m tall. Stems are erect, blue/grey maturing to reddish brown and grow from a woody base. Leaves are fleshy, crowded, < 30 x 15 mm and stalkless. 'Flowers' (cyathia) are cup-shaped, yellow-green and borne near stem tips. Seed capsules are dark green maturing to grey-brown and contain three pale smooth seeds.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell sea spurge. As sea spurge is an Unwanted Organism, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.

If you see sea spurge anywhere, please report it to the Ministry of Primary Industries on 0800 80 99 66.


Coastal areas, estuaries, sand dunes, rocky shorelines.


Seeds dispersed by explosive dehiscence and water. Vegetative spread from root fragments. Human-mediated dispersal through deliberate plantings and movement of contaminated soil, sand and ballast.

Impact on environment

Can form dense infestations, displacing native vegetation and altering habitat structure.


Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species. The Ministry of Primary Industries will carry out the control of this species.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.