prostrate spurge (86486 bytes)

Prostrate spurge: Euphorbia prostrata

Spotted spurge: Euphorbia maculata

 

The spurges are prostrate summer annual weeds that can be found in thinning, less vigorous turfgrass. Their leaves are opposite of each other.

 prostrate spurge (22704 bytes)      spurge bloom6.jpg (25127 bytes)

                        Prostrate Spurge                             Prostrate Spurge blooms

Spotted spurge has a reddish-purple spot in the center of each leaf.

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Spotted spurge

The sap from both plants is a milky latex. Some people develop a rash after coming into contact with the sap. Plants can be easily pulled and bagged if soil is moist. Be sure to wear gloves to prevent skin-contact with the sap.

Control

Pre-emergent herbicides (DCPA, dithiopyr, isoxaben, pendimethalin) applied correctly in spring will reduce or eliminate spurge. Post-emergent herbicides are not very effective unless plants are young. 2,4-D combination herbicides are more effective than 2,4-D alone.

Increasing the density of your turfgrass with proper lawn watering, fertilization, and mowing (no shorter than 2.5 inches) and other cultural practices will help in the control of spurge. See CSU Fact Sheet 7.202.

Photographs courtesy of Judy Sedbrook.

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010