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    Purge Your Spurge! Event Aims to Help Eradicate Toxic Weed

    You may have seen it in a neighbor’s yard. Maybe you have it in your own yard. And maybe you even think it is somewhat attractive. But the truth is, there is nothing pretty about the noxious weed Myrtle spurge. Jefferson County Weed & Pest needs your help in getting rid of this plant that takes over landscaping and is a danger to people, desirable plants and wildlife.

    Myrtle spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) is a highly invasive ‘List A’ noxious weed that is required by the Colorado Noxious Weed Act (C.R.S. 35-5.5-101-119) to be eradicated. Myrtle spurge contains a toxic, milky sap which can cause severe skin irritations, including blistering. This plant is poisonous if ingested, causing stomach and intestinal upset. Hand-pulling, digging, and herbicide applications are effective methods used to control it. It is highly recommended to wear gloves, long sleeves, shoes and eye protection when in contact with Myrtle spurge as all the plant parts are considered poisonous.

    Jefferson County Weed & Pest is hosting a Purge Your Spurge event on April 26 at which residents can bring bagged spurge to be disposed of properly. Myrtle spurge that is not bagged, or included with other yard waste cannot be accepted. The first 50 participants to bring their bags of Myrtle spurge will receive a native plant to take home for their yard. In addition, staff and experts will be available to answer questions about noxious weeds.

    Identifying Myrtle Spurge: This weed, also called donkeytail spurge or creeping spurge, is a low-growing perennial with trailing fleshy stems which spreads rapidly to surrounding areas and can ‘jump’ fences to natural areas and displace native vegetation and reduce forage for wildlife. The leaves are fleshy, blue-green and alternate; and the flowers are bright yellow-green, petal-like, and appear from February to May.

    Event Information: Saturday, April 26, 10AM-2PM, 900 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO (Human Services building parking lot). For more information contact Alicia Doran at 303-271-5989, adoran@jeffco.us, or visit www.jeffco.us/weed.

    Jefferson County Weed & Pest is partnering with Wildland Restoration Volunteers (WRV) to raise awareness and ensure eradication of Myrtle spurge. For more information about WRV and other Purge Your Spurge events visit their website at www.wlrv.org.

    Alicia Doran
    County Weed & Pest Management Specialist

    April 2, 2014

    Last Updated: 4-2-2014