Euphorbia esula L
Leafy spurge is a perennial growing up to three feet tall that is known for its resilience and aggressiveness. Growing in nearly all soil types and habitats, leafy spurge is virtually impossible to control without the use of integrated management. With deep, spreading roots often exceeding 20 feet in depth, the plant is able to create new buds from the rootstock–so if it is pulled, mowed, burned, or cut, it will persistently come back. Its small flowers are enclosed by yellowish-green, heart-shaped paired leaves; its seed capsules disperse by literally exploding, shooting seeds up to 15 feet. The plant contains a milky latex which can cause blisters and rashes if contacted with the skin or blindness if contacted with the eyes. Leafy spurge is poisonous to cattle and other wildlife. It often spreads by waterways and in contaminated livestock feed.
Leafy spurge currently infests all western states and much of the Midwest and Northeast, covering millions of acres; however, Teton County currently has less than 40 acres. Due to the severe threat it poses to land values and wildlife habitat, Teton County Weed & Pest has a special program through which we will be happy to assist you in controlling any leafy spurge infestations on your property. Please call our office for more information.
If you find this weed on your property or around Teton County, please report it immediately at 733-8419.