Euphorbia maculata

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Euphorbia maculata

Spotted spurge
Euphorbia maculata.jpg
Binomial:Euphorbia maculata
Conditions:Sun, no wet soils
Seed Dispersal:Shatters
Vegetative Spread:Prostrate, spreading

Euphorbia maculata, variously called Spotted spurge or Prostrate spurge, is an annual plant in the family Euphorbiaceae, native to North America. It grows in sunny locations and a variety of soils, and frequently found as a weed of gardens and lawns, and can also grow well in the cracks of hardscapes or walls.


Euphorbia maculata is a low-growing, spreading, annual plant with reddish stems. The leaves are bluish-green on the margins, and red along the midribs. The flowers are tiny, and are produced within a few weeks of germination, quickly followed by the small seeds.




Early action is crucial with this weed because of the short period between germination and the setting of seeds. The seeds will germinate in wood and stone mulches as well.

  • Mowing: Ineffective due to the low height.
  • Cultivation: Effective, especially for young plants.
  • Pulling: Plants pull easily, as they do not root at the node. They should always be put immediately into a container to prevent seed dispersal.
  • Flame: Very effective, and has the added benefit of killing the seeds.
  • Disposal: This plant should only be composted in hot piles, due the copious seeds.