Leafy spurge

From the steppes of Russia

Leafy spurge © the City of Helsinki Material Bank, Marianne Saviaho

The leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) landed on Harakka island in the 19th century, brought by Russian soldiers. There were sometimes large amounts of seeds mixed in with seed and bread grains brought over from Russia and with fodder grasses and grains meant for Russian soldiers’ horses.

In Finland, the leafy spurge is uncommon, but globally it has been listed as an invasive alien species. The latex of the leafy spurge is poisonous.