Eggleaf Spurge

Eggleaf Spurge

Euphorbia oblongata
Photo credit: G.D. Carr

Status in Squamish:


Status in Whistler:


Status in Pemberton:

Vectors of Spread:

Oblong spurge, Balkan spurge

ID Characteristics

General: Eggleaf Spurge is a perennial herb in the spurge (euphorbiaceae) family.

Flowers: Yellow bracts with a whorl of green leaves underneath. There are several male flowers and one female flower which grow in clusters at the end of stems.

Stem: Are about 6 cm long, smooth, egg-shaped and finely toothed. The leaves have a prominent midvein, and are green to yellow-green.

Leaves: Eggleaf Spurge grows up to 1 m tall and can produce up to 20 stems. The stems are covered in fine white hairs and turn red as the plant matures (July to October)

Fruit: Seed pods are three-lobed capsules which are green and sticky. They will eject the seeds when ripe.

Roots: Woody, branched and large taproot.

Similar Species


Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) has narrow, waxy leaves and its flowers are supported by two leaf like bracts.








Cypress Spurge (Photo credit: C. O’Brien)

Cypress Spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias) has short, narrow leaves and does not grow as tall as Eggleaf Spurge.


Please report any sighting of Eggleaf Spurge by clicking here.

Habitat and Origin

Eggleaf Spurge is native to Turkey and Southeast Europe. It was introduced to North America as a garden ornamental, but it has since escaped cultivation.

Eggleaf Spurge is drought-tolerant, though it grows best in moist conditions. It typically grows in damp meadows, streambanks, shady woodlands, dry hillsides or waste areas.

Current Distribution

Propagation & Vectors of Spread

Eggleaf Spurge reproduces both by seed and vegetatively. Its root crown can produce new stems, roots and buds.

Eggleaf Spurge seedpods will eject their seeds when ripe. The seeds are covered in a tacky substance that helps them stick onto clothing, pets, equipment and vehicles. The seeds are spread mainly by wildlife, humans and machinery. Eggleaf Spurge is also sometimes sold as an ornamental, despite being designated as a provincially noxious weed on the BC Weed Control Act.

Ecological, Economic, & Health Impacts


  • Outcompetes native species.
  • Depletes available water and nutrients, limiting resources for native species and inhibiting the growth of nearby plants.
  • Eggleaf Spurge is inedible for native animals in BC, therefore reducing food sources available for wildlife.


  • Contains a milky sap that is toxic to humans and livestock.
What Can I Do?

Eggleaf Spurge is NOT currently found in the Sea to Sky Corridor, so the best approach to controlling its spread is by PREVENTION.


Learn to identify Eggleaf Spurge: use the images presented in this profile page to learn how to identify Eggleaf Spurge

What to do if you spot it: You can report any Eggleaf Spurge sighting by clicking here.



  • Regularly monitor properties for weed infestations.
  • Ensure soil and gravel are uncontaminated before transport.
  • Check wildflower mixes to ensure that they do not contain Eggleaf Spurge.
  • Ensure plants are disposed of in a garbage bag if found in floral arrangements to prevent seeds from spreading.



  • Unload, park or store equipment or vehicles in infested areas; remove plant material from any equipment, vehicles or clothing used in such areas and wash equipment and vehicles at designated cleaning sites before leaving infested areas.
  • Plant Eggleaf Spurge in a garden, no matter how well-contained its enclosure may seem.
  • Move soil that has been contaminated with Eggleaf Spurge.
  • Compose Eggleaf Spurge!




  • Eggleaf Spurge has a large taproot, so the plant should be dug out for removal.
  • Avoid mowing Eggleaf Spurge as it will encourage its growth and cause the plant to branch out.
  • When removing, wear gloves and long sleeves to minimize skin exposure because its sap is toxic.


  • Spot-spraying Eggleaf Spurge with glyphosate up to 3 times over a growing season can be effective.
  • Applications of 2-4 D + dicamba during flower emergence and fall regrowth can also control the spread of Eggleaf Spurge.

We recommend that any herbicide application is carried out by a person holding a valid BC Pesticide Applicator Certificate. Before selecting and applying herbicides, you must review and follow herbicide labels and application rates; municipal, regional, provincial and federal laws and regulations; species-specific treatment recommendations, and site-specific goals and objectives.


There are no biocontrol agents available for this plant.