Spotted spurge (Euphorbia maculata) which is also called milk purslane or prostrate spurge is a low growing perennial weed found in lawns and beds and borders. It forms insignificant whitish flowers in the summer and thrives on dry, often compacted soils. As the name implies, the leaves have reddish splotches or spots and, when the stems are broken, it seeps a whitish sap.

 

As with most lawn weeds, the best control is to grow a healthy, vigorous turfgrass. A good layer of mulch such as shredded bark or wood chips will help manage weeds in the bed or border.

If cultural options do not provide enough control, several herbicides are also labeled for this weed, however, this one falls under the "difficult to control" lawn weeds and may be tough to eliminate.

 

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

 

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