The prostrate spurge (Euphorbia prostrata) is an annual with shoots that either lie flat on the ground or point slightly upwards. It can grow up to 20 centimetres long. Here in Germany it can show its small flowers from July to September. The stems may or may not be dark pink.
Euphorbia prostrata vs. Euphorbia maculata
The prostrate spurge looks very similar to the spotted spurge, but there are also specimens without the typical leaf spots. These plants can be distinguished by their fruits.
The fruits of Euphorbia maculata are covered with short hairs, while those of Euphorbia prostrata have slightly longer hairs growing only on the edges.
Distribution and habitats
Euphorbia prostrata is native to southern North America, Central America and some South American countries. As an introduced species it is also found in regions of Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe (distribution map).
Prostrate sandmat, as Euphorbia prostrata is also called, grows on roadsides, paths, banks and in weedy areas.