Euphorbia esula (Leafy Spurge) - photos and description








General: Erect perennial, with simple stems or branching growth habit. Rhizomatous forming dense colonies. Plants glabrous. Foliage is bluish green, and when broken exudes a white sap. Has been declared a noxious weed in Saskatchewan. This is a terrible weed of sandy grassland.

Flowers: Flowers in a terminal umbel, and from umbels growing from upper leaf axils. Individual flowers subtended by two ovate leaves. The flowers have a cup-shaped calyxlike involucre called a cyathia. The cyathia has 4 glands each having 2 horns, arising above the glands are multiple staminate flowers with 2 anthers, and 1 pistillate flower (ovary and 3 stigmas). Flowers fragrant.

Leaves: Leaves linear-oblong, alternate along the stem, and in a whorl beneath the inflorescence. Two ovate, opposite leaves subtend each flower.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 75 cm, I measured plants to 110 cm tall.

Habitat: Light soils in grassland, open woods, roadsides, waste ground.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Introduced.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos on June 28th, July 17th and 25th, sandy meadow and aspen woods, 30 km east of our home in Regina, SK.