1. K-State home
  2. »Turfgrass Information
  3. »Publications and Resources
  4. »Lawn Problem Solver
  5. »Lawn Problems
  6. »Weeds
  7. »Broadleaf Weeds
  8. »Prostrate Spurge

Turfgrass Information

Prostrate Spurge (Euphorbia supina)

Black Medic

Prostrate spurge is a warm season annual that reproduces by seeds. Germination occurs when soil temperatures warm to 60 to 65°F and can continue as soil temperatures climb to more than 90°F. Prostrate spurge develops a central taproot from which prostrate stems that form a flat, extensively branched mat up to 2 feet in diameter. The stems exude milky sap when broken and may root where they come into contact with soil. The pale-green leaves of prostrate spurge are opposite, small, oval, and up to 3/5 inch long. They are sometimes purple-spotted and/or hairy. The petioles are short. Prostrate spurge flowers are very small and inconspicuous. They are cup-shaped and develop in terminal clusters or leaf axils. They occur June to October.

Occurrence

This weed is found in poor, drought-stressed, open turf. It germinates and grows well during hot, dry weather on thin soils and is often found on closely mowed sites.

Non-Chemical Control

To control prostrate spurge without chemicals, maintain turf density and health through proper culture; water deeply, fertilize in autumn, and avoid close mowing. Mechanically remove or hand pull.

Chemical Control

Apply preemergence herbicides before germination in spring; apply postemergence herbicides in late spring through mid summer when plants are young and actively growing.

Click for Additional Images