hairy spurge

hairy spurge

Euphorbia hirta

Scientific name

"This erect or prostrate annual herb can grow up to 60 cm long with a solid, hairy stem that produces an abundant white latex. There are stipules (a small leaflike appendage to a leaf, typically borne in pairs at the base of the leaf stalk) present. The leaves are simple, elliptical, hairy (on both upper and lower surfaces but particularly on the veins on the lower leaf surface), with a finely dentate (having a toothlike or serrated edge) margin. Leaves occur in opposite pairs on the stem. The flowers are unisexual and found in axillary cymes (The flower has a central stem with a single flower, later the other flowers develop as buds of side stems (Oxford)) at each leaf node. They lack petals and are generally on a stalk. The fruit is a capsules with three valves and produces tiny, oblong, four-sided red seeds. It has a white or brown taproot."

Propagation instructions

By seed

Easily controlled by hand removal. Cover the soil with 2mm or thicker plastic sheets for 30 - 45 days for 100% control.

References and further reading

Learn more »

Wikipedia page »

Image credit: Forest & Kim Starr

Can you help us remove this species?

This species is a difficult weed in our Fynbos patches. Can you help us remove it? See our activity calendar for upcoming activities, or arrange with us visit our Fynbos patches and do the weeding in your own time.

I can help!

Important characteristics

This species was selected because it is a difficult alien invasive weed in our Fynbos patch(es).

It provides food for:


Communitree Newsletter

Receive our monthly updates in your mailbox

Our sponsors

We thank our 2019 sponsors for their support in our work. If your company or organisation wants to help support Communitree, click here to get in touch.