Leafy Spurge

Norman E. Rees, USDA ARS

Roadside Incursion
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut

Infested meadow
William M. Ciesla, For. Health Mngmt. Int.

North American Distribution
USDA Plants DB 5.7.08

Illinois Distribution
USDA Plants DB 5.7.08

Family:  EuphorbiaceaeGenus:  EuphorbiaSpecies:  esulaSynonyms:   Euphorbia esula

Growth Form:  Forb

General:   Perennial herb, flow bracts very visible from May through mid-June, seeds produced in July.

Flowers:   Inconspicuous, borne by paired, yellowish green, cup-shaped bracts, paired bracts are in clusters of seven to ten at top of stem branches.

Fruits and Seeds:   Contained in center of paired bracts, explosive dehiscence projects seeds up to 15 ft.

Leaves:   Leaves alternate, narrow, lanceolate-oblong with pointy tips; smooth leaves produce milky sap.

Stems or Branches:   Erect, tough and woody, 4-39 in. high.

Threatens:   Prairies, savannas, pastures; moist to dry soils, partial to full sun.

Look-Alikes:   Flowing Spurge (E. corollata), native, has white bracts; Seaside Spurge (E. polygonifolia), native, has opposite to subopposite leaves and grows prostrate on sand surface; Cypress Spurge (E. ????); Woodland Spurges (E. communata and E. obtuse), native…..

Distribution:   Native to much of Eurasia, widely distributed across N U.S. Apparently absent from SE.

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Bugwood Center Developed by The University of Georgia - Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
Last updated on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 01:34 PM