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Eggleaf spurge

Eggleaf spurge

Eggleaf spurge

(Euphorbia oblongata)

Priority: -  Prevent

Tags: Toxic

Identification and Reproduction

Identification: 

  • Eggleaf spurge is a upright perennial that grows about 0.5 m tall.  
  • Stems are covered in fine white hairs. Stems can be branching with each rootstalk giving rise to up to 20 stems. 
  • Leaves are egg-shaped and are finely toothed. Foliage is green to yellow-green with a prominent midvein. 
  • Flowers are found in clusters at the end of stems. Flowers have yellow bracts then a whorl of yellow-green leaves under. 

Reproduction: 

  • This plant can reproduce by seed as well as adventitious buds from its root system. 
  • Seeds are covered in a sticky substance that allow it to disperse easily on clothing, pets, equipment and vehicles. 
  • When reaching maturity seedpods will eject the seeds. 

Habitat & Ecology

  • Eggleaf spurge has been observed in damp meadows, streambanks, shaded woodlands, roadsides and wastelands. 
  • It grows best in moist conditions. 

Impacts

Social: 

  • Its milky substance from the stems and flowers is toxic to humans and livestock. 
  • Reduces likestock forage availability. 

Ecological: 

  • This plant uptake available water and nutrients. 
  • Degrades wildlife habitat. 
  • It will out-compete native species.  

Management

Mechanical/Manual Control: 

  • Due to its large taproot this plant should be dug out for removal. Ensure that as much as the roots are removed. 
  • Refrain from mowing this plant as this will trigger more daughter plants to offshoot. 
  • When conducting control methods wear gloves or long sleeves to minimize skin exposure. 

Resources

For more details check out the Washington Stat Noxoius Weed Control Board's datasheet on Eggleaf Spurge

Header photo (CalPhotos).