E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Euphorbia esula L.
leafy spurge
Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Gillian Danby  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #29831)

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Distribution of Euphorbia esula
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a heavy rhizome; stems erect, simple below but freely branching and umbrella-shaped above, glabrous to sparsely hairy above, with milky juice, 20-90 cm tall.
Stem leaves alternate, oblong to linear-oblanceolate, entire, glabrous, 2-6 cm long, 3-8 mm wide, lowest leaves almost unstalked; floral leaves in pairs, widely oval to heart-shaped, 12-16 mm long.
Inflorescence of many-rayed umbrella-shaped clusters; floral bracts cup-shaped, green; involucres 2-3 mm long; glands 4, brownish-green with short horns.
Capsules, inconspicuously warty to nearly glabrous; seeds 1.5-2 mm long, brownish, glabrous.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides, fields and waste places in the steppe and montane zones; frequent in SC BC, less frequent in SE BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Euphorbia esula

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 296 809 1035
Slope Gradient (%) 0 24 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
180 210 260
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(1), IDF(3)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Euphorbia virgata

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References