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Ohio State University Extension


Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula)

Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula)

Description: Colony forming perennial, usually 1'-2' in height, with tough woody stems that exude a milky sap when injured.

Life Cycle: Clonal perennial

Habitat: Rangelands, pastures, roadsides, uncultivated perennial crops, and reduced-tillage crops.

Leaves: First few leaves are opposite, subsequent leaves alternate. Thin, narrow, entire, blueish green leaves that are smooth and hairless and 1"-3" in length.

Flower: Flat topped inflorescences with yellow clustered bracts that form a cup-like structure.

Fruit: 3-celled capsule that explode at maturity.

Root: Vertical and horizontal fleshy roots that remain attached to crowns.

The problem is…mildly toxic to cattle who will avoid areas contaminated with 10% or more of the weed.

Leafy spurge plant

spring flowers