University of Maryland Extension

Prostrate Spurge

(More Lawn Weeds)

Prostrate Spurge
Euphorbia maculata 

 Spurge weed
Prostrate Spurge, Euphorbia maculata 

General description

Prostrate spurge is a summer annual broadleaf weeds that spreads by seed. Spurge is low growing. The leaves are oval in shape, small, and opposite along the stem. There is usually a red spot in the center. Another distinct characteristic is the stem contains a milky sap that oozes when the stem is broken. Flowers from early-summer through the fall.

Management In Lawns

  • Cultural practices
    Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment.

  • Mechanical Management
    Hand pulling or using an appropriate weeding tool are the primary means of mechanical weed control in lawns. This is a viable option at the beginning of an infestation and on young weeds. Hand pulling when the soil is moist makes the task easier. Weeds with tap roots like dandelions or have a basal rosette (leaves clustered close to the ground) like plantain are easier to pull than weeds such as Bermudagrass (wiregrass) or creeping Charlie (ground ivy) that spread with stolons or creeping stems that root along the ground.

  • Chemical Treatment in Lawns 
    Herbicides should be used as a last resort because of the potential risks to people, animals, and the environment. Be aware of these precautions first. 
    If you chose this option, spot treat weeds with a liquid, selective, postemergent, broadleaf weed killer applied when weeds are actively growing. Look for a product with one or more of the following active ingredients: 
    2, 4-D, MCPP (mecoprop), Dicamba* or Triclopyr.

    *Do not spray herbicides containing dicamba over the root zone of trees and shrubs. Roots can absorb the product possibly causing plant damage. Refer to the product label for precautions. 

  • Organic Lawn Herbicides

 

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