13 responses to “Euphorbia esula”

  1. Anna

    Oh my goodness… This one sounds like it will give horsetail and blackberries a run for their money : (

  2. Denis Dooley

    The ingenol gives my wife a reaction not unlike how I react to poison ivy. I definitely had to curtail my collection of genus. I am usually OK sticking with the species that resemble cacti, but have to steer clear of planting more herbaceous species in the yard. I, on the other hand, pull the Gopher Spurge, along with the smaller, weedy Euphorbia,with abandon and have never noticed an adverse effect. I suppose if it got on more delicate skin I might, but I will be wearing gloves in the future to avoid sensitizing myself.

  3. Laurel Slaney

    Hard to believe that something that looks so lovely could be so bad. That colour lime just brightens up the darkest shade.

  4. Judith Carder

    Leafy Spurge is a Provincially listed Noxious Weed under the BC Weed Control Act and an Invasive Plant Species under the Forest & Range Practices Act. In several areas of BC, these non-native invasive plant populations are controlled by biocontrol agents (click my name for website link).

    Please report any sightings of Euphorbia esula in BC through the Report-A-Weed or Report-Invasives-BC free apps downloadable through: http://reportaweedbc.ca/

  5. Nette

    What a nightmare.

  6. michael aman

    Based on the photo all by itself, I am waiting for someone to ask, “Where can I buy it for my garden?” Haha.

    1. PAT

      FYI my first time( back a few decades) with a euphorbia; I picked a few types to add to my flower arrangements. I touched my face without washing my hands first. Hours later my face had swollen up removing any creases of age around the mouth and eyes. I always wondered if it was safe enough to use cosmetically to remove wrinkles. Anyone have any suggestions?

      1. michael aman


        Years ago I went to visit my 88-year old grandmother in the hospital following total hip surgery. For as long as I had known her her face was deeply furrowed with wrinkles. Amazingly, she looked 40 years old and not a wrinkle to be seen. Of course I was not an RN yet at that time and I did not know that she was in fluid overload and her very life was critically in danger. Incompetent staff had allowed several liter IV bags to run in quickly. It filled out her wrinkles nicely but also filled her lungs and caused pneumonia. Beauty can be had but at some dear prices.

  7. Wendy Cutler

    Madeline, thanks for that prioritized list of invasives in natural habitats in Canada. I’ve added it to our forums’ http://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/resources/plants-conservation-resource-links.25/ page.

  8. Toinette Lippe

    I have one of these that I grew from seed from the UK (I’m in NYC) and it’s extremely well-behaved and hasn’t tried to take over my 8 x 10-foot plot in the three or more years it’s been there. The Brits have better manners?

    1. Chris Michalek

      Very often an introduced plant will seem stable. After establishing itself–the negative qualities express themselves.

      I have Schisandra sp. in an isolated area that after 10 years is an aggressive garden bully.

      The same happened with a Campsis radicans. The Campsis required all parts to be dug out. Parts of the remaining root system now grow under a terramac parking lot 20 meters away and it sprouts through the cracks.

      The same happened with a Mentha sp. that was supposed to be non-spreading. In 5 years it infested 50 sq meters-growing up through crowns of woody shrubs.

      The internet is good for checking potential plants for these qualities. Even the older good garden books lack the warning seen above.

  9. Alison Place

    Spurge hawkmoth (Hyles euphorbiae (Linnaeus, 1758)), is one of the biocontrol organisms used. A pretty caterpillar, and also an attractive moth. I remember being sent on a collecting mission in 1979 when I was a summer student at AgCan in Ottawa, working for the Biocontrol Lab. We were mailing out some caterpillars to somewhere else that wanted to establish them.

    Strangely, I don’t remember being warned about the ingenol, much less being issued with latex gloves or anything else!


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