Leafy Spurge · Euphorbia esula L. · is a perennial Forb that originated in Eurasia. It flowers from May through September, and reproduces through rhizomes and seeds. It has two yellowish ear-shaped bracts and can produce three seeds. Stems contain a milky white latex. Flowers (1.5-3 mm long) are divided into three cells.
It infests irrigation ditches, roadsides, fields, woodlands, shelter belts, disturbed sites, rangeland, and especially sub-irrigated meadows.
Leafy Spurge is considered toxic to cattle, however, sheep and goats may eat it following an acclimation period with little or no harm. Leafy Spurge is a noxious weed in numerous states. These plants spread quickly and aggressively.
Cypress spurge is a similar species, originally planted as an ornamental. It may be found in yards, cemeteries, and roadsides. Its cauline leaves are only 1-3cm long, and the plants are shorter than leafy spurge.