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Scientific Name: Euphorbia esula L

Common Name(s): Faitour's grass, Leafy Spurge

Identification:

  • Leafy spurge is characterized by plants containing a white milky sap and flower parts in three's.
  • Branching, perennial herb 2 to 3½ feet tall, with smooth stems and showy yellow flower bracts.

Characteristics:
  • Leafy spurge displaces native vegetation in prairie habitats and fields through shading and by usurping available water and nutrients and through plant toxins that prevent the growth of other plants underneath it.
  • Leafy spurge is an aggressive invader and, once present, can completely overtake large areas of open land.

Habitat:

  • Leafy spurge tolerates moist to dry soil conditions but is most aggressive under dry conditions where competition from native plants is reduced.
  • It is capable of invading disturbed sites, including prairies, savannas, pastures, abandoned fields and roadside areas.
  • In BC Leafy Spurge would be found mostly around the Kootenay, Okanagan, Thompson, Cariboo, and Omineca regions, but also in other areas.

Control/ eradication recommendations:
  • Because of its persistent nature and ability to regenerate from small pieces of root, leafy spurge is extremely difficult to eradicate.
  • Although leafy spurge can be successfully controlled with herbicides, treating large acreages is not cost-effective.
  • Flea beetles are a cost effective way of controlling the weed.
  • In some areas where Leafy Spurge is very bad large amounts of the beetle are released to make a sustainable population.

References: http://www.weedsbc.ca/weed_desc/leafy.html
www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/leafyspurge.shtml