Common Name: spurge, spotted (prostrate spurge)
Species: Chamaesyce maculata (L.) Small
Bayer Code: EPHMA

Spotted spurge is a summer annual with a taproot; it has an open and prostrate mat-forming growth habit. It branches freely from the base. The reddish or green prostrate stems form a mat-like growth which often chokes out desirable turfgrasses. When the stems are broken they emit a milky juice. The leaves are opposite and vary in color from a pale reddish-green to a dark green but usually have a conspicuous maroon blotch. The leaves are smooth or sparsely hairy, toothed especially near the tip and un­equally sided at the base with a short petiole. Flowers are very small, pinkish-white, inconspicuous, and borne in the leaf axils. Spotted spurge may flower within three to four weeks after emerging in mid-summer. The fruit, a three-lobed capsule, develops rapidly. Spurge is often found in fields, gardens, turf and waste areas.
spotted spurge flowers
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spotted spurge
spotted spurge in turf
spotted spurge in turf
spotted spurge growth habit
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CharacteristicTypeDescription
Growth Season summer annual weed 
Growth Habit prostrate, spreading 
Leaflet Number one 
Leaf Margin serrated/toothedleaf must be closely examined to see serrated edges
Leaf Hairs  hairs not common, but are sometimes present
Leaf/Leaflet Shape oval/egg-shaped/ellipticalnote the purple splotch in the middle of some leaves
Leaf Width <1/2 inch 
Leaf Venation pinnate 
Leaf Arrangement opposite 
Root Type taproot 
Flower Color pink OR whitepinkish white; inconspicuous