A low-growing weed with oval green leaves 1/4 to 3/4 inch long appears in the lawn. Each leaf may have a purple spot. The leaves are slightly hairy on the underside and smooth on top. Tiny pinkish-white flowers bloom in mid-summer. The stems fan out on the soil surface and over the top of the grass, forming mats up to 2 feet in diameter. Also called milk purslane or prostrate spurge, spotted spurge invades thin areas of the lawn, smothering the grass. It commonly invades lawns that are dry and infertile, but it can also be found in well-maintained lawns.
Keep the lawn well watered to discourage spurge from invading dry areas.