Letter: Get rid of that Spurge | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Get rid of that Spurge

“Purge Your Spurge” is an annual event running May 19 through June 5 that works to rid our area of the highly noxious myrtle and cypress spurge weed. A member of the Euphorbia family ( which includes cactus varieties), spurge is an ornamental garden escapee with a milky-white sap, which is highly toxic and even poisonous to both people and livestock. I had no idea just how toxic until a co-worker at the garden center where I work installed a Euphorbia and got a tiny bit of that milky sap in her eye. Not good at all, “extremely painful” she said, and after the emergency-room visit, it took weeks of recovery. So, if you’ve got this nasty stuff on your property, don’t pull it without wearing protective gloves, goggles and clothing.

The reward for ridding yourself of this spurge is a $15 gift certificate from Mountain Valley Greenhouse in Glenwood. First, identify the plant correctly (online pictures are great), and then inspect your property. If you’ve got either variety, pull and bag it carefully, trying to remove at least 4 inches of the root, and then contact a project sponsor. We’ll come out to verify and give you your gift certificate. Unlike some other noxious weeds, stopping the spurge invasion in our area is a battle we can win, and receiving free plants for the effort is a great bonus. For more info, please call the Colorado State University Extension office at 970-625-3969.

Jackie Chenoweth

Colorado State University master gardener