Leafy Spurge

A long-lived, deep rooted perennial adapted to many habitat types in Montana. It has invaded over 2.5 million acres in the western US and Canada. It is found in every county in Montana. The flowering plant grows up to three feet tall on a slender stem with long, linear narrow leaves that alternate along the stalk. The stem and leaves emit a milky latex substance when damaged which can be an irritant to the skin. The plant flowers in mid-June with yellow bracts above green flowers.

The extensive root system of leafy spurge allows it to regenerate after all control applications. Herbicides require high application rates and repeated applications to eradicate spurge. Picloram (Tordon) combined with 2,4,D at maximum application rates reduced spurge by 90% after two seasons of application.