Eggleaf Spurge

Euphorbia oblongata

Eggleaf Spurge

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Other Common Names: oblong spurge
Weed class: A
Year Listed: 1999
Native to: Turkey and Southeast Europe
Is this Weed Toxic?:

milky sap can be a skin irritant

Legal listings:

WA Quarantine list, WAC 16-752

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

It was introduced as a garden ornamental and escaped cultivation. It’s closely related to, and exhibits invasive and competitive strategies similar to, leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) which is listed as a Washington State Class B noxious weed.

How would I identify it?

General Description

It is an upright perennial reaching to about three feet tall from a woody, branched taproot. Plant stems covered in fine white hairs and have leaves with finely toothed margins. Flowers bloom in spring and summer.

Flower Description

Flowers in clusters made up of small male flowers and one small female flower. Flower clusters have yellow bracts at their base followed by a whorl of yellowish green leaves.

Leaf description

The leaves are alternate, hairless and oblong with finely toothed margins. They grow to about 2.6 inches long.

Stem description

Stems are upright and covered in fine white hairs with branching at the tip.

Fruit Seed Description

Seeds are held in three lobed capsules. Seeds are brown and smooth and are ejected from capsules when ripe.

Where does it grow?

It is found in damp meadows, streambanks, shady woodlands as well as on dry hillsides, roadsides and waste areas. Please click here to see a county level distribution map of eggleaf spurge in Washington.

How Does it Reproduce?

Eggleaf spurge reproduces by seed and buds from the root crown can produce new stems or roots.

How Do I Control It?

Mechanical Control

Because of large taproot, the plant must be dug. Mowing will result in new shoots growing. Eggleaf spurge produces a milky latex sap so care should be taken when handling. If sap contacts skin make sure to wash that area.

Herbicide Control

Please refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook, or contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

For More Information

See our postcard for early detection information about eggleaf spurge.

See our Written Findings for more information about eggleaf spurge (Euphorbia oblongata).

Pierce County NWCB Fact Sheet on eggleaf spurge

UW Herbarium image database 

Additional Photos