any of numerous plants of the genus Euphorbia, having a milky juice and flowers with no petals or sepals.
Compare spurge family.

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French espurge, noun derivative of espurgier to cleanse < Latin expurgāre. See ex-1, purge

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World English Dictionary
spurge (spɜːdʒ)
any of various euphorbiaceous plants of the genus Euphorbia that have milky sap and small flowers typically surrounded by conspicuous bracts. Some species have purgative properties
[C14: from Old French espurge, from espurgier to purge, from Latin expurgāre to cleanse, from ex-1 + purgāre to purge]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

plant species, late 14c., from O.Fr. espurge, from espurgier "to purge," from L. expurgare, from ex- "out" + purgare "to purge" (see purge). So called from the plant's purgative properties.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Leafy spurge is an aggressive invader and, once present, can completely
  overtake large areas of open land.
Ranchers need to be patient in awaiting the benefits from introduced leafy
  spurge enemies.
Leafy spurge is difficult to control because it can grow in many different
Non-native species of the park, especially focused on leafy spurge.
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