Spotted spurge is a low-growing plant native to eastern North America that is usually considered a weed in gardens, cultivated agricultural areas, and disturbed sites. It will grow in almost any open area, including waste ground, roadsides, pastures, open woods, in sidewalk cracks and in thin lawns. It often grows in poor, compacted soil and generally in full sun. This summer annual in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) can overgrow and smother desirable plants. Other common names include spotted euphorbia, spotted sandmat, milk-purslane, and prostrate spurge. This latter common name, however, usually refers to a very similar, but different species of plant. The taxonomy of this group of plants is rather confused, partly because many of the species are similar in appearance. Some authorities consider them to be in the genus Euphorbia, while others assign them to the genus Chamaesyce.