Leafy Spurge

Leafy spurge
Perennial, up to 3 feet tall; reproduces by vigorous rootstalks and seed. Leaves are alternate, narrow, 1 to 4 inches long. Stems are thickly clustered. Flowers are yellowish-green, small, arranged in numerous small clusters and subtended by paired heart-shaped yellow-green bracts. Roots are brown, containing numerous pink buds which may produce shoots or roots. The entire plant contains a milky juice. Seeds are oblong, grayish to purple, contained in a 3-celled capsule, each cell containing a single seed.

Leafy spurge is native to Eurasia and was brought into the United States as a seed impurity about 1827. However, it seems to be a serious problem only in North America where it infests almost 2.5 million acres, mostly in southern Canada and the northcentral United States. It has been reported to cause severe irritation of the mouth and digestive tract in cattle which may result in death. Capsules explode when dry, often projecting seeds as far as 15 feet. Seeds may be viable in the soil for up to 8 years. An extensive root system containing large nutrient reserves makes leafy spurge extremely difficult to control. ”

— Weeds of the West, 11th Edition, 2012

In Platte County, Leafy spurge management is overseen by the Weed and Pest Supervisor, Pat Bookout, and handled by the Shop Foreman, Trisha McCarty. Trisha has spent several years in the pursuit of Leafy spurge in Platte County and has an extensive knowledge of the established whereabouts and habits of this noxious weed. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact Pat or Trisha at 307.322.3210 or using the contact form below!

Platte County considers Leafy Spurge a Noxious Weed of great concern, because of this it has been included as an area of special management through Platte County Weed and Pest. Every landowner in Platte County that has Leafy Spurge on their property is entitled to a 100% cost-share of up to $2,500. This means chemicals will still be offered at no cost for the control of leafy spurge and the Weed and Pest will also treat leafy spurge infestations with no out-of-pocket costs to you at this time.  *By law, we are required to identify special management zones within the county.  Each participating landowner will be designated as a special management zone, and every year a list of participants will be listed in the local paper. If you would like to participate in our program, please fill out the form below and return it to our office.

Leafy Spurge Agreement

*The undersigned landowner requests that his/her land be included within a Special Weed Management Zone established pursuant to W.S. 11-5-301-303 and accepts the conditions outlined in the Integrated Management Plan for the purpose of reducing the economic and ecological impact of Leafy spurge within Platte County.  All work done under this agreement is subject to public record.

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