Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia Esula)
About Leafy Spurge
Leafy Spurge is considered among the most ‘unwanted’ invasive plant in BC. It is a unique competitive plant because it produces
a compound that actively inhibits the growth of other plants nearby. It spreads quickly with an extensive root system and the
seed capsules open explosively, dispersing seed up to 5 m (16ft) from the parent plant. It has clusters of petite, yellowish-green
flowers supported by distinctive heart-shaped leaves just below the flowers. It is a bushy plant that grows to 1 m (3ft) tall with
narrow leaves that spiral around the stem.
How to Remove
- Wear proper clothing. It is important to cover up before removing leafy spurge. The entire plant contains white, milky latex
that can irritate the skin of humans resulting in blisters and swelling. Durable gloves, long sleeves, long pants and proper
shoes are recommended.
- Digging or hand pulling is impractical and ineffective unless in a small patch. If you use this method, remove the plant
before it reaches 5 cm (2ins) in height and dig up the entire root.
- Multi-species continuous grazing by sheep and goats will give the quickest reduction. The repetitive nature of the grazing
eventually kills leafy spurge. The animals may graze it as a portion of their diet without suffering any health issues.
- If timed properly, mowing can be used to prevent leafy spurge from seeding. Repeat mowing every 2-4 weeks and only
during the early flowering stage. Avoid mowing during July/August.
- Place in heavy trash bags until rotted and then burn when and where permitted or transport to a proper green waste
disposal facility. DO NOT COMPOST fresh cut green plants or roots. Disposal facilities: Pender Harbour Transfer Station,
- Alternative plants: Broad Leaf Stonecrop, Common Rockrose, Red Hot Poker, Yellow Ice Plant.