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You are here: Home / Plants / Species Profiles / Leafy Spurge
Species Profiles

Leafy Spurge

Leafy SpurgeScientific name: Euphorbia esula L. (ITIS)

Common name: Leafy spurge

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Selected Resources

Native To: Eurasia (Gucker 2010)

Date of U.S. Introduction: Early 1800s (Gucker 2010)

Means of Introduction: Introduced accidentally as a seed contaminant (Gucker 2010)

Impact: Crowds out native species (Gucker 2010)

Current U.S. Distribution:



  • YouTube - Leafy Spurge
    University of Wyoming Extension. Sustainable Google. YouTube; Management of Rangeland Resources Initiative Team.

Selected Resources:

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Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands - Euphorbia esula
California Invasive Plant Council.
Bossard, C.C., J.M. Randall, and M.C. Hoshovsky (Editors). 2000. Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press. Berkeley, CA.

Fact Sheet: Leafy Spurge (Jan 2014; PDF | 263 KB)
Alberta Invasive Plant Council (Canada).


Alaska Exotic Plants Information Clearinghouse (AKEPIC): Species Biography - Leafy Spurge (Feb 7, 2011; PDF | 146 KB)
University of Alaska - Anchorage. Alaska Center for Conservation Science.
See also: Non-Native Plant Species List for additional factsheets (species biographies) and species risk assessment reports of non-native species present in Alaska and also non-native species currently not recorded in Alaska (potential invasives).

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Leafy Spurge
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Texas Invasives Database - Euphorbia esula

Invasive Species Compendium - Euphorbia esula
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Euphorbia esula (herb)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.


The Ecological Areawide Management (TEAM) Leafy Spurge
USDA. ARS. Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory.
The Ecological Area-wide Management (TEAM) Leafy Spurge was a $4.5 million, five-year (1998-2002) USDA-ARS research and demonstration program focusing on the Little Missouri drainage in Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas. Its goal was to research, develop and demonstrate ecologically based Integrated Pest Management strategies that landowners and land managers can use to achieve effective, affordable and sustainable leafy spurge control.
Note: The TEAM Leafy Spurge program was named a recipient of a U. S. Department of Agriculture 2004 Secretary’s Honor Award for exemplary service and achievement.

Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) - Euphorbia esula
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program.

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) - Euphorbia esula
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

PLANTS Database - Leafy Spurge
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.


Encycloweedia: Data Sheet - Euphorbia genus
California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Included on California's noxious weed list; see Encycloweedia: Program Details for additional resources.

Noxious Weed Species - Leafy Spurge
Colorado Department of Agriculture. Conservation Services Division. Noxious Weed Program.

Leafy Spurge - Vegetation Management Manual
Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.

Leafy Spurge
Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Leafy Spurge
Missouri Department of Conservation.

Class B Noxious Weed: Leafy Spurge
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board.

Integrated Pest Management Prescription - Leafy Spurge (PDF | 241 KB)
Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (Washington). Environmental Health.

Leafy Spurge
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


Weed Control in Natural Areas in the Western United States: Leafy, Oblong, and Carnation Spurge (2013; PDF | 314 KB)
University of California. Weed Research and Information Center.

Leafy Spurge
Colorado State University. Cooperative Extension.

Leafy Spurge - Noxious Weeds of Nebraska (PDF | 510 KB)
University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Cooperative Extension.

Leafy Spurge Identification and Chemical Control (PDF | 210 KB)
North Dakota State University. Extension Service.
See also: Leafy Spurge Control Using Flea Beetles


Noxious Weed Information - Leafy Spurge (B List)
Colorado Weed Management Association.

Weed Identification - Leafy Spurge
Montana Weed Control Association.

Leafy Spurge
Plant Conservation Alliance. Alien Plant Working Group.


Gucker, C.L. 2010. Euphorbia esula. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Euphorbia esula. [Accessed Mar 19, 2015].

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Last Modified: May 18, 2016
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