- low-growing densely matted plant (up to 2 feet in diameter) with bright green opposite leaves
- small elliptical-shaped leaves have an irregular-shaped purple spot in the center of each blade
- several pink stems radiate from a center point and, when snapped in two, the stems exude a thick milky substance
- plants grow a somewhat shallow underground taproot
- commonly grows in planting beds but can occasionally be found growing in lawn areas
- warm season annual with seedling germination between the temperatures of 60-100°F (early summer until early fall); peak germination occurs mid to late summer
- rapid growth in warm temperatures with two to three generations per growing season
- seeds mature within 5 weeks of germination and seed production continues until fall frost
- Hand-pull plants in planting beds prior to seed maturation and manually remove underground structures to prevent re-sprouting.
- Apply a mulch layer 3 inches deep on planting beds to reduce seed germination.
- Apply an appropriate pre-emergent herbicide prior to seed germination or apply an appropriate post-emergent herbicide directly to target weeds as they are actively growing.