Euphorbia maculata

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Euphorbia maculata
Eupha macu.jpg
Photo by Patrick J. Alexander, hosted by the USDA-NRCS, The PLANTS Database
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Euphorbiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: E. maculata
Binomial name
Euphorbia maculata
(L.) Small
CHAM MACU dist.jpg
Natural range of Euphorbia maculata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Spotted sandmat

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Chamaesyce maculata (Linnaeus) Small; Euphorbia supina Rafinesque.[1]

Varieties: none.[1]


Euphorbia maculata is a weedy annual herbaceous plant. It tends to grow low to the ground and somewhat repent.[2]


This plant is native from Quebec to North Dakota and south to Florida and Texas. However, it has been introduced globally.[1]



E. maculata prefers moist to wet sandy soils like alluvial sands, moist loamy or clayey sand, and coarse calcareous gravelly soils. It is found in a variety of natural and disturbed community types, including pine flatwoods, sand dunes, river banks, open shorelines, and near brackish marshes. Disturbed habitat includes railways, citrus furrows, cracks in pavement, roadside ditches, and recently clear-cut, site prepared and planted slash pine flatwoods.[2]


It has been observed flowering and fruiting in September.[2]

Herbivory and toxicology

Euphorbia maculata has been observed to host plant bugs from the Miridae family such as Lygus lineolaris, Semium hirtum and Spanagonicus albofasciatus.[3]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Medicinally, the sap can be ingested to induce vomiting and act as a laxative, and can be used topically to treat warts, sores, lesions, and soreness.[4]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: L. C. Anderson, D. Hall, R. K. Godfrey, R. Komarek, L. Neel, R. A. Norris, A. Schmidt, and C. R. Slaughter. States and Counties: Florida: Calhoun, Collier, Franklin, Gadsden, Leon, Liberty, Polk, Taylor, and Wakulla. Geogia: Camden, Clinch, Glynn, and Thomas.
  3. [1]
  4. Korchmal, Arnold & Connie. 1973. A Guide to the Medicinal Plants of the United States. The New York Times Book Company, New York.