Prostrate spurge

Chamaesyce humistrata (Engelm. ex Gray) Small

Life cycle

Prostrate summer annual.

prostrate spurge plant
Prostrate spurge plant.


Cotyledons are oval with maroon undersides and short petioles. Opposite, pale green, egg-shaped leaves with rounded tips have small, irregular teeth along the margins and short petioles. The upper leaf surface often has a maroon watermark.

prostrate spurge seedling
Prostrate spurge seedling.


Prostrate, densely hairy stems are highly branched from the base, forming circular mats up to 16 inches in diameter. Stems may root at the lower nodes and exude a milky sap when damaged.

prostrate spurge milky sap
Milky sap of prostrate spurge.

Flowers and fruit

Inconspicuous flowers are formed in the leaf axils. Fruit are hairy, three-lobed capsules that contain three wrinkled, three-sided, pale brown seeds.

prostrate spurge fruit
Prostrate spurge fruit.



Similar weeds

Spotted spurge [Chamaesyce maculata (L.) Small] Differs by having stems that do not root at the nodes, narrow oval to oblong leaves, and ridged, not wrinkled, seeds.

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