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Euphorbia esula - L

Common Name Leafy Spurge. Green spurge
Family Euphorbiaceae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards The sap contains a latex which is toxic on ingestion and highly irritant externally, causing photosensitive skin reactions and severe inflammation, especially on contact with eyes or open cuts. The toxicity can remain high even in dried plant material[200]. Prolonged and regular contact with the sap is inadvisable because of its carcinogenic nature[214].
Habitats Found on prairies, savannas, mountain meadows, and near woodlands. It grows in fields and waste places.
Range Eurasia. Native to central and southern Europe, and eastward through most of Asia north of the Himalaya to Korea and eastern Siberia. Currently found worldwide with the exception of Australia and New Zealand.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Euphorbia esula Leafy Spurge. Green spurge


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Euphorbia esula Leafy Spurge. Green spurge
H. Zell on Wikimedia.org

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Euphorbia esula is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Esula angustifolia Haw. Euphorbia gmelinii Steudel. Euphorbia intercedens Podp. ex Harrington. Euphorbia poderae Croizat. Euphorbia pseudovirgata (Schur) Soó. Euphorbia x pseudovirgata (Schur) Soó. Euphorbia zhigulienis Prokh. Galarhoeus esula (L.) Rydb. Tithymalus esula (L.) Hill.

Habitats

Edible Uses

None Known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None Known

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Other Uses

Euphorbia esula has nutrient value similar to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn.) and provides nutritious forage for sheep and goats. Potential as a whole-plant biomass as a locally grown fuel crop for home-heating purposes (Maxwell et al., 1985). A high protein feed stock for grazing sheep and goats (Fox et al., 1991; Sedivec et al., 1995). The high protein diet result in very high quality mohair in angora goats (Stoneberg, 1989). High in hydrocarbon latex - possibly a good col-hardy hydrocarbon species. Leafy spurge hay burns with 4x the energy of wheat straw [1-1].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

Cultivation details

Experimental Crop  Management: Hay

Climate: boreal to subtropical. Humidity: arid to humid. Prefers areas of full sunlight and dry soil but can tolerate a variety of habitats including temperatures as low as -45C (-49F). A deep-rooted perennial plant. Roots grow twice as fast in sandy soil as in clay soil. Roots in clay soil have greater branching than those in sandy soil. High levels of soil nitrogen can reduce the biomass of leafy spurge roots and lead to greater root concentrations near the top of the soil profile (U.S. Forest Service). Especially aggressive in semi-arid situations. Adapted to a wide range of conditions, from moist to dry with annual rainfalls as low as 180mm (7"). It grows as clusters with upright stems, 0.3 to 1m tall. Cultivation: experimental. Management: hay (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

Carbon Farming

  • Experimental Crop  Plant breeders are testing these plants to see if they could be domesticated for cultivation, but they are still in an experimental phase. Examples include milkweed and leafy spurge.
  • Management: Hay  Cut to the ground and harvested annually. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

It can grow from seed or from creeping roots. Reproduces readily like by seeds that have a high germination rate and may remain viable in the soil for at least eight years.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Hungarian spurge; wolf's milk, Euphorbe esule, Esels- Wolfsmilch; Scharfe Wolfsmilch, Heksenmelk, Vargtoerel, Faitours-grass, Green spurge, Leafy spurge

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Currently found worldwide with the exception of Australia and New Zealand.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

A highly competitive plant. Once established, it tends to displace native grasses, forbs and most other vegetation in pastures, rangelands and natural areas. Invades natural areas and suppresses other vegetation. Its roots reach down 12 feet or more, and once established it is very difficult to control. It spreads both underground and by seed. Its cultivation is prohibited in ten US states and is declared a noxious weed in twelve others. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has placed this species on its list of 100 of the world's worst invasive species.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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