Introduced from Europe, leafy spurge is a creeping perennial that reproduces by seed and extensive creeping roots. The roots can extend as deep as 30 feet from a plant that grows one to three feet tall, with pale green shoots and small yellow-green flowers.
The plant, including the roots, contains a milky latex that is damaging to eyes and sensitive skin. Leafy spurge is an extremely difficult plant to control because of its extensive sprouting roots.
It is adapted to a wide variety of Colorado habitats and is very competitive with other plant species. If it becomes established in rangeland, pasture, and riparian sites, it may exclude all other vegetation due to its competitive nature. Populations have been found along Wallace and Spring creeks in western Garfield County, and there have been individual plants located elsewhere throughout Garfield County.