Leafy  Spurge

Growth Habit: Perennial, erect, up to 3' tall, spreading by seed or creeping roots.

Leaves: Alternate, long, narrow, ΒΌ" wide and 2" long, usually drooping.

Flowers: Inconspicuous, surrounded by large heart shaped floral leaves which turn yellow-green near maturity.


Need Weed Management Assistance? Click Here!


  • Description
  • Images
  • Control Strategies
  • Infestation Map

WILD LICORICE - Glycyrrhiza lepidota (Nutt.) Pursh
Fabaceae - (Pea family)

Wild licorice is a perennial reproducing from deep, spreading roots or seeds. Stems 1 to 3 feet tall, erect, simple or with upper part producing erect branches. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound with 11 to 19 deeply veined lanceolate leaflets with glandular dots when mature. Flowers in short axillary spikes on long peduncles; calyx with 2 upper teeth shorter and partly united; corolla with narrow standard and blunt keel, green-white to white, stamens - 9 fused by filaments and 1 separate. Seed pod about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, burlike, covered with stout, hooked prickles; seeds to 1/10 inch long, bean-shaped, reddish-brown, smooth and dull.

Wild licorice is a widely distributed native plant commonly found in moist, sandy soils of meadows, pastures, prairies, ditch and river banks and waste areas. The common licorice used to flavor candy is a different species, though the root of wild licorice is equally sweet and was an important food source for Native Americans.

Non-standard name: American licorice.

(Courtesy of Weeds of the West)


Licorice can be controlled with Transline at 1 pint per acre. This plant is very resistant to herbicides, but clopyralid, the active ingredient in Transline, Redeem, Curtail, Widematch, and Stinger, is very effective.

NOTE: All Pesticide application recommendations are based on label directions and experience with these products in Fremont County Wyoming. However, labels change from time to time. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the applicator to insure the pesticide application is made within the directions on the current product label. If you are unsure of, or have questions concerning treatment method or a chemical usage please consult your local Weed & Pest office, or a licensed professional.