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Spurge, Spotted: A Warm-Season Annual Weed

Spotted Spurge

John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University,

What is Spotted Spurge?

Spotted spurge is a warm-season annual and found in gardens, flower beds and open turfgrass. It has red or purplish stems with smooth, oblong leaves opposite of each other; the stems emit a milky substance when broken. The leaves often have a purple or maroon spot in the center, and the prostrate forms mats as it branches out from the base.

Spurge, Spotted: How to Get Rid of This Weed

Fighting this weed is best done in the spring by applying a broadleaf pre-emergent herbicide to the plant. If the spurge has germinated, it's best to apply a postemergent herbicide directly onto the weed. Providing adequate soil irrigation will also help to control spurge as well as hand-pulling the plants when they've just emerged from the soil.