Leafy Spurge and Species Diversity

Sometimes purposefully, often inadvertently, through our activities we have spread and introduced non-native species into our environment. In many cases they flourish, unchecked by North American/Canadian predators. One of these thriving species is leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula). Leafy spurge is a noxious deeprooted perennial weed that has rapidly spread across much of North America, especially throughout the western provinces and states. It will readily establish itself in a variety of environments, and it is quick to take advantage of disturbed sites. It can be found in Manitoba in pastures, agricultural lands, along roadsides and in wooded areas. Areas with high spurge densities and distributions especially occur in the dry, mixed grass prairie habitat where there is less competition from native plants.