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Leafy Spurge

Euphorbia esula

Plant Description

An erect, perennial, herbaceous planbt with a smooth bluish-green stem, milks sap, and umbels of greenish-yellow inflorescences. Has an extensive root system with vertical roots up to 9 feet in the soil and horizontal roots.

Plant Details

Life Forms
ODA Listing
Soil and Moisture Conditions
Suggested Actions
Mature Height 1-3.5'
Distribution Found worldwide except in Australia and New Zealand.
Control Heavy cultivation every 2 weeks during the growing season and every 3 weeks during late summer and fall for 2 or more years. Mow to prevent seed production and reduce top growth.
Reproduction and Spread Seeds disperse by wind and water, root buds break off and spread. Seeds area also spread by birds, humans, insects and other wildlife. It is also spread by the movement of contaminated soil, on shoes, cars, and farming equipment.
Introduced Native to Europe and was introduced accidentally into North America in the early 1800s as a seed contaminate.
Look Alikes Other Euphorbia species
Impact Leafy spurge is allelopathic and outcompetes native prairie species, infests livestock pasture and reduces populations of native grazers and grassland birds. Causes millions in annual economic losses due to reduced cattle-carrying capacity, reduced land values, impacts on wildlife and on soil and water conservation.
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