Don’t let this invader take hold

Leafy spurge is common throughout Alberta due to its ability to adapt to a variety of soil types through its extensive creeping root system.

Stems are smooth and arranged in clumps, can grow up to a metre tall, and contain a milky latex. When it comes into contact with skin, the latex can cause irritation and when consumed, can be poisonous for cattle and horses.

Leaves are numerous and attached alternately to the stem. Its yellowish-green flowers are small, without petals or sepals and are supported by two green bracts, arranged in numerous small clusters. Light-grey to dark-brown seeds are about two millimetres in size and are smooth, growing in pods on the top of the bracts. These seeds can be distributed as far as five metres from the parent plant through seasonal flooding of riparian infestations, creating a problem with control or removal of the noxious weed. Once established, this weed can spread making it very hard to control, so contact your local Agricultural Fieldman if you think you’ve spotted it.

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