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
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