It is an invasive plant in many areas. Because of its persistent nature and ability to regenerate from small pieces of root, leafy spurge is extremely difficult to eradicate. A herbaceous perennial plant growing to 1 to 1.2 m tall, with several stems branched from the base. The stems are smooth, hairless or slightly hairy. The leaves are small, lanceolate, 4 to 8.5 cm long and up to 1 cm broad, with a slightly wavy margin. The flowers are small, produced in umbels with a basal pair of bright yellow-green petal-like bracts.
Clusters of the bracts appear in late spring, while the actual flowers do not develop until early summer.