Spurge is a native plant here in Northeast Ohio, unlike many of the weeds we face. It loves the hot and dry weather of summer and grows especially well along the edges of lawns and flower beds and in disturbed areas. It is relatively easy to control but like most weeds, it goes into shutdown mode when the weather is especially dry and does not readily absorb weed controls. The good news is that it is killed with the first cold snap only to return again next summer.
With this summer’s heat and dry conditions Spotted spurge has grown like crazy! Spotted spurge (Euphorbia maculata) is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family. Other members include favorite houseplants like Poinsettias and crown of thorns. All members have a somewhat toxic latex milky sap that can cause contact dermatitis. Oddly, this sap can be used to treat warts and works quite well!