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Pillpod Sandmat Euphorbia hirta

Previously known as:

  • Chamaesyce gemella
  • Chamaesyce hirta
  • Euphorbia gemella
Phonetic Spelling
yoo-FOR-bee-uh HER-tuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Spurges are annual weeds that flourish in warm weather, but in warmer climates, they can persist into late fall. Plants produce greenish-white flowers in summer through early fall, then die after frost. Spurges are some of the most common warm-season weeds in container nurseries. Also commonly known as Dove Milk, Euphorbia hirta exudes a milky sap when stems or leaves are broken.

Because spurges flower when young, have little or no seed dormancy, and fast germination rates, weed populations can increase rapidly. When possible, remove plants when young to reduce seed production before too many of the inevitable seedlings are produced. Some species may forcefully discharge seeds creating a larger “crop.” If hand-weeding is not a viable option, a preemergent herbicide may be used according to label directions.

This species of Garden Spurge is prostrate to ascending with distinctively uneven leaves and a large seedhead. There are two forms: one with small, light green leaves and one with larger leaves often maroon in color.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#full sun#annual#maroon#white flowers#weed#green flowers#bright green#weedy#seedheads#fall interest#summer annual weed#fast growing#NC native#summer flowers#sap#late fall#warm weather#maroon leaves#weed control#milky sap#groundcover#warm season weed#native weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#full sun#annual#maroon#white flowers#weed#green flowers#bright green#weedy#seedheads#fall interest#summer annual weed#fast growing#NC native#summer flowers#sap#late fall#warm weather#maroon leaves#weed control#milky sap#groundcover#warm season weed#native weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euphorbia
    Species:
    hirta
    Family:
    Euphorbiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Traditional medicinal herb in some tropical countries.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical and Subtropical America
    Distribution:
    Anywhere temperatures are warm enough for seed germination, found widespread at low altitudes throughout the tropics and subtropics.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Prostrate
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is in the form of a hairy yellow capsule. Fruit from a single plant can produce up to 3000 tiny, oblong, four-sided seeds
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tiny flowers are in a ball shape. They are generally green and white but can also have a bit of red. Globular clusters of tiny, monoecious (unisexual), green/whiteto reddish flowers that lack petals. Reduced, bract-like leaves under the inforescences
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Rhomboidal
    Leaf Margin:
    Doubly Serrate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are green with uneven stems. Leaves are opposite with small teeth.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are semi-erect with several stems originating from a central tap root. Stems have a hairy surface and are filled with a milky white latex/sap.
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Itching, redness, and rash.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Milky sap emitted when stems are broken is a skin irritant
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Sap/Juice