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Spurge Euphorbia hirta

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Chamaesyce hirta
Phonetic Spelling
yoo-FOR-bee-uh HER-tuh
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.

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
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical and Subtropical America
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Prostrate
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Tiny flowers are in a ball shape. They are generally green and white but can also have a bit of red.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are green with uneven stems. Leaves are opposite with small teeth.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Weedy