Prostrate spurge

Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Foliage is small, succulent, and often with small red spots.
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Spurge flowers are very small, pink, and grow from leaf axils. Flower parts are difficult to discern without magnification.
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Large numbers of seeds can often germinated at once, making hand-weeding difficult.
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Prostrate spurge cascading over side of a nursery container.
Image by: James Altland, USDA-ARS
Chamaesyce maculata
Family: 
Euphorbiaceae
Life cycle: 
Annual
Habit: 
Prostrate spurge is, as the name indicates, a low growing plant, rarely growing higher than an inch. Branching often at the base, it forms a mat commonly 6”-18” across.
Flowers: 
Prostrate spurge is commonly monoecious, each plant having separate male and female flowers. However, plants may be unisexual, producing either all male flower or all female flowers on occasion. Flowers form in the axis of the leaves, singly or as a small cluster.
Favorable environments: 
Container
Favorable environments: 
Field
Favorable environments: 
Greenhouse
Favorable environment notes: 
Prostrate spurge thrives in moist, very warm environments, such as propagation benches and flats, greenhouse floors, gravel container areas, landscape areas; any areas that receive consistent moisture.
Dissemination: 
Prostrate spurge seeds are angled, minutely pitted and have slight transverse ridges across their surface. The seeds are also hydrophilic and can adhere to surfaces when they are wet. These factors aid in the dissemination of these seeds. Prostrate spurge seed can germinate within 5 days of being sown, and grow to maturity within 5 weeks.
Of interest: 
Prostrate spurge is in the same family as the common Christmas Poinsettia. Similar to poinsettias, spurge stems have a milky sap that exudes when stems are broken. This sap makes it easier to differentiate spurge from similar looking weeds like purslane and prostrate knotweed.