Spotted spurge

Pest: Spotted spurge (Euphorbia maculata)

Pest Type: Annual Broadleaf Weed


Major Identifying Features: Grows close to the ground, forms a dense mat, only a problem in Southern and coastal California, milky sap, grows upright, opposite leaves, red spot on leaves, hairy, milky poisonous sap which might cure skin cancer but is also irritant, pinkish flowers, major spurge weed in California

Life Cycle: Summer annual, reproduces by seed

Pest Rating: Difficult

Management Rating: Moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Grows in shady, moist areas, mostly in flower beds, germinates when temperatures are between 75° and 85°

Damage Information: Affect vegetables, trees, citrus, turf, ornamental beds, container ornamentals, toxic milky sap, provides habitat for unwanted insects in citrus groves, host for fungal diseases, attracts ants, poisonous and can kill sheep grazing in pastures

Management Options: Prevention by using clean seeds and equipment, cultural control by weeding, hand pulling, solarization, mulching, turf management, chemical control with herbicides (warning on the use of chemicals!)


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