spotted spurge; spotted sandmat (USA)
Chamaesyce maculata (L.) Small
Vascular – Exotic
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
Procumbent annual herb; dull grey-green, often with a purple central spot on each leaf; sparsely to densely hairy, especially on stems. Flowers minute, in small clusters in leaf axils.
In 1970s and 1980s was known mostly in north of the North Island of NZ + records from Nelson and Christchurch, but it has spread rapidly southwards in late 1990s and by 2010-15 has become a common, often abundant weed of road and path edge gravels, driveways, open dry gardens and waste areas. Seeds prolifically.
Dry open stone/gravel areas - often the first plant encountered at edge of tar-sealed roads.
euphorbia: After Euphorbus, a Greek physician who served King Juba of Numidia in 12BC. Juba named a cactus to honour Euphorbus and later Linnaeus named the entire genus after the physician.
maculata: From Latin ‘macula’ blotch, meaning blotchy