Purge the Spurge to remove invasive noxious weed May 19 - June 5

Annual Purge the Spurge weed pull underway

April 20, 2016

Myrtle spurge in bloom in Garfield County
Myrtle spurge in bloom in Garfield County Photo by Ann Larson
Cypress spurge growing in potted application.
Cypress spurge growing in potted application. Photo by Steve Dewey

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The fifth annual Purge the Spurge event, now underway through June 3, 2016, invites Garfield County residents to pull two highly invasive noxious weeds – myrtle and cypress spurge. In exchange, they will receive non-invasive landscape or garden plants.

Both types of spurge are non-native to this area, and were originally imported as ornamental garden plants. They readily escape the confines of gardens or lawns and invade areas of native vegetation.

Residents are asked to bag spurge plants and to contact one of these agencies: Garfield County Vegetation Management, 970-945-1377, ext. 4305; Colorado State University Extension, 970-625-3969; or the Bookcliff, Mount Sopris or South Side conservation districts, at 970-945-5494, ext. 104.

Sponsors will offer vouchers in exchange for the pulled spurge that are redeemable for landscape or garden plants at the Mountain Valley Greenhouse in Glenwood Springs. Residents of western Garfield County can redeem their vouchers for native plants by calling Garfield County Vegetation Manager Steve Anthony, at 945-1377, ext. 4305. He will make an appointment to meet at the fairgrounds in Rifle at 1001 Railroad Avenue to provide plants.

In removing the spurge, it is best to pull out at least four inches of the root. Be aware that the milky sap of both plants can cause skin irritation, so wear gloves, long sleeves and long pants when pulling, and preserve in a plastic bag for exchange.

Also sponsoring this year’s event are CSU Master Gardeners and the Mountain Valley Greenhouse, and the local conservation districts.