prostrate spurge

Prostrate spurge (Euphorbia maculata)

Updated: May 11, 2022

General description

Prostrate spurge is a summer annual broadleaf weed 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.

closeup of spots the the leaves of spotted spurge
Dark spots on spotted spurge foliage
Photo: Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org

Management in lawns

Lawn care practices

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

Lawn Care

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. 

Manage Weeds Without Chemicals

Chemical treatment in lawns

If you choose 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.

Lawn Herbicides for Weed Management