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Leafy Spurge - Euphorbia esula
Family: Euphorbiaceae

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Description

This is a knee-high perennial herb that grows back each year from roots. These roots can be up to 20 feet deep and thus make irradiation efforts difficult. It has small leaves along its stalk. On top of the stalk are yellow-green heart-shaped bracts that each enclose a small flower. Upon maturation of the seed capsules are spring-loaded and able to throw seeds up to 15 feet.

Interesting facts

Like other euphorbs, this plant contains a milky sap that can cause blisters or dermatitis if it contacts the skin. Thus, protection should be worn when handling these plants.

Several insects have been used for biocontrol including a stem/root boring beetle, a shoot-tip gall midge, a stem-boring moth, and three root defoliating flea beetles. These insects have however, not proven them selves reliable in the field and more efforts are needed to control this plant.


VIDEO


Links to more information

Specie's Account - Everything you ever wanted to know about Leafy Spurge AND the scientific documentation to back it up. If you want to see the original data, they are referenced on this summary article.

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Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers

 

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