|Latin name: Chamaesyce maculata;
also called Euphorbia maculata, Euphorbia supina, and
The species listed above are very similar, and there is a great deal of confusion when trying to identify which species is which.
|Common name: prostrate spurge
|Life cycle: summer annual; In
Oregon, it seems this weed is most problematic during only the hottest summers,
or in enclosed structures where heat builds up even during our typically
cool summers. In other parts of the country, like the Southeastern
U.S. where summers are always very warm, prostrate spurge is one of the most
difficult to control weeds in container production.
||Foliage: Foliage is small, succulent,
and often with small red spots.
||Flower: Flowers are small, pink,
and grow from leaf axils. Flower parts are difficult to discern without
||Cotyledon or seedling: Prostrate
spurge is a dicot. It is also a prolific seed producer, so often hundreds
of seed will germinate at the same time in a container (makes hand-weeding
|Roots: Spurge develop a deep taproot,
though it's been my experience that this weed is fairly easy to handweed
compared to other weeds (as long as there are only a few, and not hundreds
in a single container).
|Control: View 2003 herbicide trial results for this and other common container weeds.|
||Notes: Prostrate spurge is in the
same family as the common Christmas Poinsettia, and similar to poinsettia
it has a milky sap that exudes when stems are broken. This makes it
easy to differentiate spurge from similar looking weeds like purslane and