If you've had any experience with leafy spurge, you already know it's a pretty tough customer. A native of Europe and Asia, leafy spurge emerges in early spring and gets a head start on other vegetation in a race for space, sunlight, nutrients, and water.
Prolific seed production and an extensive root system give the plant a huge competitive advantage and make consistent, long-term control difficult. Deep tap roots, which can exceed 20 feet in depth, store reserves of nutrients to see the plant through hard times, while lateral roots form a network that enable it to rapidly reproduce and spread.
Leafy spurge is highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of conditions and situations.
This exotic invader is extremely competitive and the economic and environmental impacts of leafy spurge are significant. It invades a variety of land types, reduces range land productivity and species diversity and threatens sensitive species, degrades wildlife habitat and reduces land values.
For more information on control of leafy spurge, refer to NDSU publications: Integrated Management of Leafy Spurge W866 Leafy Spurge: Biology, Ecology and Management W1088