Leafy Spurge (Common name)

General poisoning notes:

Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) is a naturalized herb that grows across southern Canada. The plant is usually not ingested by livestock, but if large amounts are incorporated in hay, poisoning can occur. Sheep are more resistant to leafy spurge, but collapse and death have occurred (Kingsbury 1964). Some humans can develop dermatitis and irritation from the latex.

References:

  • Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA. 626 pp.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Euphorbia esula L.
Vernacular name(s):
leafy spurge
Scientific family name:
Euphorbiaceae
Vernacular family name:
spurge

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Euphorbia esula

References:

  • Agriculture Quebec. 1975. Noms des maladies des plantes du Canada/ Names of plant diseases in Canada. Quebec City, Que., Canada. 288 pp.
  • Alex, J. F., Cayouette, R., Mulligan, G. A. 1980. Common and botanical names of weeds in Canada/Noms populaire et scientifiques des plantes nuisibles du Canada. Revised. Agric. Can. Publ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada. 132 pp.
  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Scoggan, H. J. 1978, 1979. The flora of Canada. Nat. Mus. Nat. Sci. (Ottawa) Publ. Bot. 7(1)-7(4). 1711 pp.
  • Van Wijk, H. L. 1911. A dictionary of plant names. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands. 1444 pp.
  • Victorin, M. 1964. Flore Laurentienne. 2nd ed. Univ. Montreal, Montreal, Que., Canada. 952 pp.

Geographic Information

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

References:

  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Boivin, B. 1966, 1967. Énumération des plantes du Canada. Provencheria 6. Nat. Can. (Que.) 93: 253-274; 371-437; 583-646; 989-1063. 94: 131-157; 471-528; 625-655.

Image or illustration

Images: leafy spurge - Google Search

Toxic parts:

  • latex

References:

  • Seip, E. H., Hecker, E. 1982. Skin irritant ingenol esters from Euphorbia esula. Planta Med., 46: 215-218.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Seip and Hecker (1982) found ingenol derivatives, which are diterpenes, to be the irritant factors in leafy spurge. Some of the chemicals were weak tumor promoters.

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • 5-deoxyingenol

References:

  • Seip, E. H., Hecker, E. 1982. Skin irritant ingenol esters from Euphorbia esula. Planta Med., 46: 215-218.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.

Cattle

Horses

Humans

Sheep

General symptoms of poisoning:

References:

  • Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA. 626 pp.

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