Leafy Spurge

Euphorbia esula

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State Noxious Weed. Height to 3 ft., usually 1-2 ft. Green to yellow bracts surround non-showy umbel flowers; May to September. Stems contain a white, milky substance. Leaves are oblong with one noteworthy vein, 3 lobed capsule fruits.


Cropland, woodlands, shelter belts, and rangeland; roadsides and disturbed sites.

Location in Nebraska

Widespread. Found in most counties in Nebraska.

Pathway of Introduction and Spread

Originally from Eurasia, spreads by seeds and adventitious shoots from crown and roots.


Costs millions of dollars annually due to lost production. Considered toxic to cattle. Establishes quickly and easily and out-competes native vegetation.