Shore spurge Euphorbia glauca

Key Features

  • A perennial herb of coastal sand dunes with many erect stems to 1 m tall, arising from creeping stems. Blue-green leaves up to 12 cm long are arranged radially on the erect stems, which contain a milky juice. Small inflorescences are produced near the stem tips, each surrounded by a red cup-like structure. Fruits are pendulous, green at first but becoming brown as they ripen.

Distribution and Habitat

  • Coastal throughout, but becoming sporadic. The main habitat is sand dunes but shore spurge also occurs on coastal banks, rocky places, gravel and seepages near the shore.


  • Habitat modification and loss.
  • Trampling and browse by stock.
  • Competition from taller vegetation.
  • Coastal development, road widening and forestry.

Management Opportunities

  • Survey for new locations.
  • Mark known sites.
  • Protection of habitat.
  • Exclude stock.
  • Collect and propagate seed for re-establishment in appropriate sites.
  • Ensure that forest owners in coastal areas are aware of potential habitats and can recognise the species.

Monitoring Options

  • Check existing populations annually.
  • Report new locations to DOC and NZPCN.

Further Information and Support

  • New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (NZPCN).
  • References
    • Wilson & Given (1989). Threatened plants of New Zealand. DSIR Publishing, Wellington.
    • Peter de Lange, Peter Heenan, David Norton, Jeremy Rolfe and John Sawyer (2010). Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch. 472 pp.