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Flowers and leaves

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Chamaesyce prostrata - prostrate sandmat

Synonyms: Euphorbia chamaesyce, Euphorbia prostrata
Other Common Names: blue weed, ground spurge, prostrate spurge, spurge
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Euphorbiaceae

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Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Flower and leaves
Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual or perennial
General Desc: This herb produces slender prostrate stems up to 7 to 8 inches long, forming a mat up to 16 inches in diameter. It can be found in varied habitat types and in many areas grows as a roadside weed.
Identification notes: Seeds transversely ridged. Fruit hairy only on lobes. Flower glands 4, <0.5 mm, transversely elliptic; petal-like appendage as wide as to wider than gland, entire to scalloped, white.
Height: 2 to 3 inches


Habitat Description: Sandy flats, slopes, and washes in desert transition zones near bases of mountains. Also found in disturbed areas and at a variety of elevations. Can be considered a weed.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 4600 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White to pinkish     Shape: Regular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jun - Sep
Description: The flowers are tiny and cup-shaped with white petal-like appendages surrounding the actual flowers. There are 4 male flowers and a single female flower, the latter developing into a lobed, hairy fruit capsule.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green to purplish     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The oval-shaped leaves are less than 1/2 inch long with finely toothed edges. Leaves and stems may have some hairs.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Green to pinkish   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: Tiny capsules of seeds are spheric and lobed, bearing hairs on external angles.
Seed Notes: Tiny seeds are ovoid and white to gray with sharp transverse ridges.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Content Questions/Comments: Email Matt Halldorson  
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