- Common Name(s):
- Ground spurge
Spurges (Chamaesyce spp., in the Euphorbiaceae family) are summer annual weeds that flourish in warm weather, but in warmer climates some can persist into late fall. Plants flower in summer and early fall then die after frost. Flowers are greenish-white. Spurges are some of the most common warm-season weeds in container nurseries. Each exudes a milky sap when stems or leaves are broken.
Spotted and Ground Spurge (Chamaesyce maculata, C. prostrata, and others): These similar spurges have prostrate to ascending stems with round or oblong leaves; some have a large dark spot on the leaf blade but the presence or absence of the dark spot is not diagnostic. Seedlings are very small but will flower when young. A prolific seeder; seeds have limited or no dormancy and germinate quickly.
Mangaement for Spurges: Because spurges flower when young and have little or no seed dormancy, weed populations can increase rapidly. Remove plants when young to reduce seed production. They are time consuming to hand weed due to the number of seedlings that form. Some species may forcefully discharge seeds. Spurges are well managed by most preemergence herbicides labled for use.
NCCES plant id: 3137