LEAFY SPURGE, Euphorbia esula L. 1, leafy stem; 2, top of stem with flowers; 3, flower with seed pod; 4, seed; 5, root system. Perennial, reproducing from extensive rootstocks and seeds. Roots deep and spreading, woody, very persistent. Stems erect, smooth, branched at top, I to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) talI, with milky juice. Leaves alternate on stems, narrowly strap-shaped, 1/4 inch (6 mm) wide, usually drooping. Flowers small, greenish, petals fused into a cuplike structure, borne just above the greenish-yellow heart-shaped floral bracts on top of stem. Seed pods on short stalks from the cuplike base, 3-lobed, with 3 seeds. Seeds smooth, light gray, with yellowish or white appendage attached to the tip. Found in pastures, waste areas, along roadsides, and in cultivated fields. A troublesome weed because of its spreading nature and persistence.