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Pesticide Safety Education Program

Ohio State University Extension


Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula)

Description: Colony forming perennial with tough woody stems that exude a milky sap when injured

Life Cycle: Perennial, clonal

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

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

Fruit: 3-celled capsule that explode at maturity

Leaves: First few leaves are opposite, subsequent leaves alternate. Thin, narrow, entire, blueish green leaves. Smooth and hairless

Root: Vertical and horizontal fleshy roots

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