Prostrate Spurge is a summer annual broadleaf weed that is also commonly known as Chamaesyce maculata, Euphorbia maculate and Spotted Spurge. Its scientific name is Euphorbia supina.
Prostrate Spurge is a horizontal to ascending broadleaf weed that is branching and mat-forming. Its young leaves often have a maroon spot or blotch on the upper surface, hence the nickname Spotted Spurge. The stems and leaves exude a milky sap when injured, and the stems are pinkish in color and densely hairy. Prostrate Spurge has a shallow taproot with a secondary fibrous root system, and the leaf margins are sometimes toothed near the apex. Prostrate Surge flowers from May through October, producing tiny greenish-white flowers. Reproduction occurs by seeds and at the nodes.
This broadleaf weed commonly grows in disturbed sites, such as poorly maintained lawns, waste areas, cultivated ground, glades and along sidewalks, railroads and roadsides. Prostrate Spurge can be found throughout much of North America.
Euphorbia supina can be a problem in lawns—especially in high-traffic areas. Cultural methods, including physical removal, can be used to eliminate single plants. However, Prostrate Spurge can quickly infest your lawn and landscaping, requiring the use of professionally applied broadleaf weed killers.