It is most aggressive in semi-arid situations where competition from associated species is less intense.For this reason, infestations generally occur and spread rapidly on dry hillsides, dry prairies, or rangelands.Monitoring of areas with known or potential Euphorbia esula infestations is critical; adequate control is possible if management procedures are implemented in the early stages of infestation.100% eradication of spurge is rarely achieved, but infestations can be reduced to manageable levels with the use of herbicides.Research should focus on a highly integrated approach to spurge management, with the goal of reducing the amount of herbicides needed for adequate control.
It emerges in early April in North Dakota, during March in Iowa and Wisconsin, and late April in Saskatchewan (Hanson and Rudd 1933, Bakke 1936, Selleck et al. Stem elongation is very rapid as daily temperatures increase from May through June.
Euphorbia esula is an erect, perennial, herbaceous plant that grows from 2-3.5 ft. Large infestations of Euphorbia esula give the landscape a yellowish tinge due to the yellow bracts.
The plant produces a milky sap if stem is broken or a leaf is removed.
Prescribed burning in conjunction with herbicide application can provide excellent control of leafy spurge in open areas.
Results are apparently very good whether burning is followed by spraying or vice versa, but as with other methods, repeated treatments are necessary over at least a 5-10 year period.
It is now found worldwide with the exception of Australia.